The attorney-client privilege in The Justice System, which ensures that a client can honestly communicate with an attorney in seeking advice and aid, is a cornerstone of the U.S. legal system. The privilege generally prevents an attorney from being compelled or even voluntarily disclosing information conveyed in confidence by a client for the purpose of seeking legal counsel.
The Justice System is changing. Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memo to federal prosecutors last month implementing a new approach as they evaluate what crimes to charge and sentences to pursue. Although ultimate sentencing discretion remains with the Court, the government's position has an impact.
One of the best ways to pursue criminal organizations, white collar crime, and terrorist groups is to follow the money. That's why the FBI is prioritizing investigations of third-party money laundering facilitators. Money laundering is when alleged criminals turn "dirty money" into "clean money" by making it seem like it has derived from legitimate sources. It allows alleged criminals to hide and accumulate ill-gotten wealth, avoid prosecution, evade taxes, and multiply profits through reinvestment. It's also a major crime in large part because it helps to fund more major crimes. However, this doesn't mean the FBI is just going after secretive Swiss banks, corrupt foreign governments and shadowy virtual currencies. Instead, the Bureau has found targets closer to home: attorneys, accountants, investment managers, trust companies, and real estate professionals.
Rizzo Environmental Services has been cooperating in a federal white collar crime investigation involving alleged widespread corruption in Macomb County government. As recently reported in the Detroit Free Press, the results of the investigation and the coming slew of anti-corruption charges are expected to have far-reaching effects throughout local governments in southeast Michigan. This past Thursday, the first domino fell as Clinton Township Trustee, Dean Reynolds, was charged in federal court with accepting cash bribes from Rizzo to help secure the lucrative $18 million dollar government contract extension to pick up the township's trash until 2026.
White Collar Crime affects employees too. In the recent Volkswagen scandal where the automaker designed ways for their cars to fraudulently "pass" emissions tests, the government is rolling out a new prosecution strategy: going after the employees. The Detroit Free Press recently reported on Volkswagen engineer, James Liang, who plead guilty in U.S. District Court in Detroit to conspiracy to defraud U.S. regulators and Volkswagen customers, wire fraud, and violations of the U.S. Clean Air Act. He is not only the first Volkswagen employee to be convicted of criminal charges in this matter, his conviction is also a warning to all employees that just following company orders can lead to serious criminal consequences.
August was a good month for white collar crime clients of the Law Office of John Freeman, PLLC. In Monroe County, a client's felony embezzlement charges were dismissed when the Circuit Court granted Mr. Freeman's motion to quash the information. In agreeing with Mr. Freeman's motion, the Circuit Court judge found that the prosecutor's evidence at the preliminary examination failed to demonstrate probable cause that the client committed a crime. Therefore, the District Court judge abused his discretion in binding the case over to the Circuit Court.
After decades of criticism from members of the Justice System, Congress has decided to create a task force to reform the federal criminal code. The task force will consist of five Republicans and five Democrats, and it will be known as the House Committee on the Judiciary Over-Criminalization Task Force of 2013.
In the Justice System, the right to counsel in a criminal case is a cornerstone of justice. In the 1963 landmark decision of Gideon v. Wainwright, the Supreme Court declared that criminal defendants facing felony charges have the right to an attorney even if they cannot afford to pay for one
If you find yourself in the justice system on the wrong end of a police investigation, particularly a federal investigation, law enforcement may be prepared to offer you great promises of leniency and preferential treatment in order to obtain your cooperation. In addition to the complicated fact that the police cannot promise you anything in exchange for a confession, but they are permitted to lie to you to get a confession, this is a very dangerous situation, particularly if you are not represented by an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Computer Crime has taken a new turn since the invention of the downloadable MP3 has brought a new way for people to allegedly steal music. Then, as downloading and streaming media files online became more popular so did the alleged theft of TV shows, movies, and software. If there was a way to access it online, there was a way to get into trouble for downloading it without paying for it