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Grand Rapids Criminal Defense Law Blog

Nurse pleads guilty to white collar crimes

Anyone in Michigan or any other state who faces federal charges may be advised by legal counsel to plead guilty. In many cases, such a plea could lead to the best possible outcome. This was how a 37-year-old man in another state pleaded on multiple white collar crimes charges.

According to court documents the defendant obtained employment as a nurse at various medical facilities. However, it states that he could not provide proof of any training for this profession. The complaint further claims that the man applied for these positions by using the name and license number of another registered nurse. At one facility, the defendant was appointed as the assistant director with responsibilities that required nursing skills during day-to-day nursing care of patients.

DNA test may tell which twin committed the felonies

Investigators in Michigan and other states have come to rely heavily on DNA for forensic testing. It is widely used in cold case felonies and in cases in which convicted individuals claim their innocence. However, they have always been stumped when a suspect is one of a set of identical twins. Following international research, U.S. criminal courts may permit use of DNA tests to distinguish between identical twins in the not too distant future.

According to the popular science writer, Carl Zimmer, scientists are now able to identify the genetic mutations in the DNA of identical twins in order to tell them apart. He notes that rape cases in Michigan and another state were stalled when forensic scientists could not distinguish between identical twins. However, using this new DNA test to admit evidence in court was unsuccessful because the judge determined that insufficient evidence existed to assess whether the testing to meet existing standards.

Felonies: DNA evidence can even solve carjacking cold cases

Many cold cases involving violent crimes like homicide and rape have been solved by using forensic evidence. However, investigators nationwide, including Michigan, can use DNA samples gathered at the crime scenes of various felonies to solve cold cases. Law enforcement in another state recently arrested a suspect in a July 2017 case of a carjacking.

According to sheriff's reports, a good Samaritan stopped when she witness a crash. However, her attempts to help the injured only brought her trouble. She alleges the three crash victims pulled her from her car, loaded an injured woman into it and raced away from the scene. Law enforcement says the ditched car was also a stolen vehicle.

Felonies: Social media can provide damning evidence in trials

Social media like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter is used more and more to obtain evidence to present at criminal trials. It has long been a source of information to use in civil and family lawsuits, but anyone in Michigan who is facing criminal charges for felonies might be wise to limit activities on social media. At the same time, they might want to discourage friends or family members from posting incriminating images.

In many cases, Facebook evidence is used in criminal cases that develop out of claims that started in family court but progress to criminal court when domestic violence, abuse, battery, or other serious disorderly conduct is involved. Social media evidence used in family court is often also effective in resulting criminal cases. Posts that show alcohol or drug abuse, child neglect, adultery and dishonest or false statements are but some of the damning evidence that could be easily obtainable on social media and might be admissible in court, depending on the issues.

Tax evasion and fraud can land you in hot water

No one wants to pay taxes, but if you earn a living in the United States you're required by law to abide by federal, state and local tax codes. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) doesn't turn a blind eye to tax evasion and fraud, but instead pays close attention to anyone who is breaking the law.

If you're convicted of tax evasion or fraud, the penalties can be quite serious. In addition to a hefty fine, there's a chance you could be sentenced to prison time.

Old felonies might be solved with the use of DNA technology

DNA technology features in identifying many cold cases across the country, including Michigan. Felonies that could not be solved decades ago might now be reopened, and the availability of advanced DNA methods could throw new light on the unsolved cases. One such a case was recently reported in another state, and a man who police say was sought for 25 years was recently arrested for a murder that happened in 1993.

Reportedly, a 35-year-old woman died from stab wounds in an apartment in 1993. Investigators gathered DNA among the evidence at the time, and that has now been linked to a man who will soon face criminal charges. By using a genealogy website, investigators hoped to find DNA of the murderer or a close relative on the website that closely matched the DNA collected 25 years ago. They were successful and found what they were looking for on the website.

White collar crimes: Indictment alleges Medicaid fraud

Medicaid fraud forms the basis of many federal criminal cases filed each year, including in Michigan. The current opioid epidemic has led to many allegations of white collar crimes, including those involving a former owner of a state-licensed drug and alcohol rehabilitation center in another state. The 38-year-old man was recently indicted in federal court on 60 counts for alleged indiscriminate handing out of opioids and then filing fraudulent Medicaid claims.

Along with five others, this man is accused of conspiracy and committing health care fraud, distributing controlled substances, money laundering and several other charges. Court documents indicate that the Medicaid claims this defendant filed and received totaled $31 million. Reportedly, one of the other defendants is the man's ex-wife who was reportedly the billing coordinator of the center and handled the medical records.

Understanding computer and internet crimes might prevent them

Sometimes, people in Michigan and other cities nationwide get involved in a crime without even realizing that what they are doing is criminal. This is because computer and internet crimes can occur in a wide variety of circumstances. Understanding what constitutes a crime involving the use of computers and the internet can go a long ways toward avoiding legal troubles.

Many computer crimes involve improper access to a computer system or network. Once access is obtained, data or programs might be taken or copied, and modified or used in damaging ways. It might even lead to the contamination of the computer system or the introduction of a virus. Under different circumstances, the access to the computer might form part of a scheme meant to defraud others or to use another person's encryption to commit another crime.

Do you face state or federal drug trafficking charges?

If you face drug trafficking charges, you cannot waste any time before building your defense. The sentencing for drug trafficking is heavy, both at the state and federal level. A conviction could result in years behind bars on top of fines and other restrictions.

Often, those who face drug trafficking charges worry that the evidence against them is too strong to fight or that the court system is rigged against them. While it is true that the courts are not eager to show mercy to drug trafficking suspects, it is always wise to approach any charges with a strong defense. You may have more options than you realize, but only if you act quickly.

Team executive admits to white collar crimes involving $13.4M

Whenever people in Michigan and other states are appointed in positions in which they will be trusted to work with significant amounts of money, some may not be able to resist the temptation of siphoning some of it off for personal use. White collar crimes charges frequently result from such situations. A recent case involved an executive of a professional basketball team in another state.

The 44-year-old former NBA executive pleaded guilty in federal court to aggravated identity theft and wire fraud charges involving over $13 million. His job involved negotiating sponsorships and using advertising and other means to generate revenue for the basketball team. The defendant opened a shell account into which sponsors deposited money of which only some was transferred to the team's account.

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