Financial fraud sometimes occurs by those seeking to live a more opulent lifestyle. The authorities, however, often seize valuables, cars and real estate during an arrest. That was what happened with a Florida man who was convicted of a tax crime after stealing millions of taxpayer dollars. Recently, his case took an interesting twist. He put in a request to get all of his seized items back.
The items include $25,000 in cash, an expensive Bentley car, and several pieces of gold and steel jewelry that combined have over 2,600 diamonds. He gave up those items as part of his plea agreement. However, he now claims the cash and items were illegally seized and that everything should be given back to him.
He has filed a motion in which he says he is "an aggrieved person". The motion, filed in federal court, requests that the same judge who sentenced him in the case order the government to return all of his seized items. The prosecution disagrees with this request, noting that everything was lawfully forfeited as part of the man's plea agreement. The police chief in Tampa said that it would be hard for the man to drive the Bentley around the prison yard.
He is currently serving a 12.5-year sentence for having obtained $1.8 million in fraudulent tax refunds. He is also seeking to have his sentence reduced, because he feels that he deserves more credit for his help on a drug case.
Others facing tax crime issues in Florida will have different considerations to deal with and may benefit from the advice of a qualified criminal defense attorney.
Source: TBO.com, "Man convicted of tax fraud wants Bentley, jewelry back" Elaine Silvestrini, Feb. 25, 2014