Two unrelated, high-profile federal fraud cases involving celebrity victims were concluded recently in the Los Angeles area. Both convictions came about as the result of guilty pleas, and both actions resulted in prison sentences for those convicted.
Federal fraud charges included wire fraud, money laundering
In the first case, a business associate of San Diego Chargers linebacker Dwight Freeney was indicted on eight counts of fraud, including wire fraud, access device fraud, money laundering, and obstruction of justice in August of 2012. According to Federal prosecutors, Freeney’s financial manager defrauded him of approximately $3 million between 2010 and 2011, by operating under a fictitious name and gaining access to many of Freeney’s personal and business accounts. In January 2013, the former financial manager pleaded guilty to a single count of access device fraud and was sentenced in October to 60 months in federal custody. He was also ordered to pay more than $2.5 million in restitution to Freeney.
In the second case, an insurance broker pled guilty to federal mail fraud charges involving actor Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson. In that case, federal prosecutors charged a Thousand Oaks insurance agent with fraudulently inflating insurance premiums on the couple’s insurance policies between 1998 and 2011, and billing them with fake invoices. In addition to a 27-month federal prison sentence, the former insurance agent was also ordered to pay Hanks and his wife more than $840,000 in restitution.
Federal fraud statutes are often used to prosecute individuals, and the federal government’s conviction rate in fraud cases exceeds 90% across all Federal District Courts. In fact, two out of three convicted federal fraud defendants can expect to receive at least some time in prison. One of three persons convicted of federal fraud charges can expect to receive a sentence that is at least 3 years in length, and one in seven can expect to spend at least 5 years in prison. Those statistics alone should raise concern for people who are facing federal fraud charges, and they underscore the need to hire a competent federal criminal defense attorney.
No criminal defense attorney can promise a guaranteed positive outcome for his or her clients. The options your attorney has depend upon the specific circumstances of your case. In any case, a competent, experienced criminal defense attorney will work aggressively to get your federal fraud case dismissed, or get the charges against you reduced or eliminated in an effort to help you avoid conviction and/or prison time altogether.
Conviction on federal fraud charges can result in a permanent criminal record, incarceration, loss of employment and personal asset forfeiture. If you’re facing federal fraud charges, you need the assistance of an experienced Federal criminal defense attorney like Robert M. Helfend.
Robert M. Helfend is a noted Federal criminal defense attorney located in the Los Angeles area, who practices Federal criminal defense throughout the United States. If you are facing Federal fraud charges, contact the Law Offices of Robert M. Helfend toll-free at (800) 834-6434 or locally at (310) 456-3317, (818) 591-2809 or (805) 273-5611 for a consultation. Robert M. Helfend is an experienced Federal criminal defense attorney who can help!
Photo Credit: orgnmaster, via Flickr