In the conclusion to a scheme that began in 2006, a fourth defendant will face a criminal sentencing later this fall. The white collar crime case involved mortgage applications for 12 luxury homes in Florida. Three other defendants-all purported home buyers-are already serving prison terms. This defendant served as their realtor.
A federal judge recently sentenced a South Florida defendant to 120 months in prison. The defendant pled guilty to several charges, including conspiring with a corporation to resell diverted prescription drugs. Drug diversion is a federal crime that occurs when a defendant sells prescription pharmaceuticals outside of a lawful distribution method.
The American Bar Association reports that many of the defendants in mortgage and real-estate fraud prosecutions are lawyers. As a state that experienced a particularly painful real estate meltdown in recent years, several Florida lawyers figure prominently in the report.
Last week, a federal grand jury returned several indictments leveling charges at 9 individuals, including a Boca Raton woman. The charges are for mail fraud and bank fraud, all stemming from an alleged mortgage fraud scheme in California. The group charged is accused of illegal acts concerning 19 total properties in Carmichael, Sacramento and Copperopolis, California. The Florida woman was among several accused of acting as straw buyers in various transactions.
Earlier this year, a Miami couple pleaded guilty to Medicare fraud in a deal with prosecutors. Based on the plea deal, a federal judge sentenced the couple to prison last week. Prosecutors accused the couple of committing health care fraud by submitting $45 million in false claims.
Prosecutors apparently reached a plea deal in a massive Ponzi scheme investigation. The deal requires the 62-year-old defendant to plead guilty to 18 criminal counts. According to guilty plea, the Ponzi scheme sold high-yield certificates of deposit to 1,200 investors.
A group of small-town ambulance volunteers face a federal prosecution. New charges claim that the group enriched itself by submitting fraudulent billing for unnecessary services. The team of volunteers allegedly defrauded Medicare of around $880,000.
The U.S. attorney's office struck a deal with a Miami defendant this week, reducing his prison sentence in exchange for cooperation in a larger fraud prosecution. The defendant pled guilty to laundering funds as part of a massive health care fraud network.
State and federal rules concerning the handling of evidence are a vital component of a legitimate criminal justice system. To be convicted of a drug crime based on tainted evidence is a nightmare no one should have to experience in the United States. Recent events in Massachusetts demonstrate how easily a single person can threaten the liberty of countless individuals through carelessness, neglect, and even deliberate mishandling.
A dispute involving the taxes owed on 1993 income led to a criminal conviction and sentencing last week. A 63-year-old Florida man was sentenced to 1 year in federal prison and fined $4.3 million dollars for tax evasion after he entered a guilty plea. The case stems from a tax bill of $889,520 levied by the IRS in 2001. The man did not pay the bill over the next 10 years and took steps to frustrate attempts by the Internal Revenue Service to collect the money through levies on his income and liens taken against property in Florida and Tennessee. Interest and penalties turned the debt into the $4.3 million he was eventually fined.
A new federal report points to South Florida as a hotspot of healthcare fraud. This report coincides with last week's jury verdict against the operators of a Miami mental health center. Both of these developments are examples of how prosecutors are increasingly focused on healthcare fraud cases in South Florida.