TAMPA (813) 228-6989 • ORLANDO (407) 808-6750 • en Español (813) 390-2494

Florida Criminal Defense Law Blog

3 charged after raids on massage parlors

It has been reported that Florida authorities rescued two people who were said to be victims of human trafficking after an investigation was launched into several massage parlors. As a result of the investigation, three women were taken into custody.

Authorities opened investigations into the allegations in January after receiving a Crime Stoppers tip about potential human trafficking occurring at the massage parlors. Authorities raided several Miami Beach massage parlors on Aug. 11. However, the investigation was still ongoing with the help of federal immigration authorities.

Florida teen sentenced to prison for unemployment scam

In late July, a federal court in Miami handed a 54-month prison sentence to a 19-year old man convicted of defrauding individuals, banks, credit card companies, and the state unemployment insurance fund. According to court records, he used a complex system of identity theft to pull off various online scams that totaled more than $1 million in losses. The stolen identities came from a database kept by the Florida Department of Employment. Investigators obtained the IP address used during the data heist and used this information to carry out the arrest.

According to federal prosecutors, the youth hacked into the aforementioned database over 11 months in 2015 and 2016. Armed with unemployment insurance information, he then purchased equipment and materials that allowed him to make credit and debit cards in the name of individuals whose personal records he stole.

Man caught with underage child now facing child porn charges

On Aug. 9, it was reported that a Florida man who was already in police custody for battery is now facing charges for child molestation. According to authorities in Tallahassee, the 23-year-old man was accused of engaging in sex acts with an underage boy.

The man was taken into custody on June 30 at around 4 a.m. after authorities found him naked in a Tallahassee park located near the Piney Z subdivision. He was reportedly engaged in the sex acts when he was discovered. The 15-year-old boy involved in the incident told authorities that he met the older man on the 'Grindr' dating app. They then met for sex in the park. The accused man told authorities that he believed the boy was 16 years old.

Florida administrator accused of involvement in fraud scheme

A state health care administrator is accused of taking bribes to assist in a Medicare fraud scheme. A nursing home owner allegedly orchestrated a $1 billion health fraud. The 66-year-old administrator made just over $31,000 annually at her job, where she oversaw inspections at nursing home facilities. The owner of tne nursing homes was a wealthy 48-year-old businessman who owns numerous facilities in Florida.

The administrator is accused of accepting tens of thousands of dollars in bribes from the nursing home owner. She allegedly accepted this money in exchange for providing him with tips about violations so that they would be addressed prior to being officially reported in state inspections. Federal prosecutors have alleged that the administrator's assistance kept the nursing home's federal billing active. She worked at the state's health care administration agency for 29 years and is the first employee there to be charged with accepting bribes.

International disability fraud case draws attention to issues

There is a serious cultural undertone of concern about disability and fraud. While disability income is generally so low that people struggle to survive on it, many people imagine that the system is rife with fraud.

Most people who receive disability benefits are in dire financial straits and unable to work. There are occasionally cases, however, where a person intentionally games the system to receive benefits that he or she shouldn't actually get.

A closer look at embezzlement charges

Thanks to the nightly news, as well as popular television and film, there are certain white collar crimes with which people are naturally familiar from wire fraud and bribery to counterfeiting and identity theft.

While comprehension of the law at any level is always a good thing, the reality is that the information on white collar crime that can be gleaned from these sources is nevertheless limited. Indeed, your favorite crime drama would be considerably less interesting if it devoted ten minutes to breaking down the intricacies of a financial crime.

Bipartisan legislation calling for bail reform introduced in Senate

The majority of court systems across the nation currently rely on what is known as wealth-based pre-trial detention. In other words, a system whereby those defendants able to post bail are released from jail while those unable to do so must remain behind bars until their day in court -- something that might not happen for months or years.

Critics have long argued that wealth-based pre-trial detention is not only unjust, but also dangerous to communities. Indeed, they point out how many of the individuals forced to await their fate in county jails have only been charged with low-level, nonviolent offenses, while this is not necessarily the case with their wealthy or connected counterparts able to post bail.

AG Sessions looking to expand asset forfeiture

As we've discussed at length on our blog, Jeff Sessions has not only been busy establishing the priorities of the Department of Justice going forward, but also undoing some of the policies put in place by his predecessors since taking on the mantle of U.S. Attorney General.

Indeed, he outlined a new priority for the DOJ at the National District Attorney's Association earlier this week, expressing his intention to issue a new directive in the coming days on a controversial law enforcement tactic: asset forfeiture.

SEC alleges defendant Googled how to get away with insider trading

When most of us want to learn about virtually anything -- from the important to the trivial -- we immediately go to our laptops, tablets or smartphones. Indeed, our first stop once we have these devices in hand is the ubiquitous search engine Google, where we can conduct detailed searches based on entire inquiries or mere keywords.

While there's no denying the inherent value and power of internet searches, it's important to understand that they are frequently relied upon by law enforcement officials to help build criminal cases. By way of example, consider the case of a 31-year-old engineering research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  

Understanding how federal criminal cases are carried out -- III

In a series of ongoing posts, we've been exploring more about the federal criminal justice system in an attempt to help people better understand and appreciate the complexity of these cases. To that end, we've explored how federal investigations are carried out and, most recently, how federal grand juries work.

We'll continue these efforts in today's post, examining the next stage in the abovementioned process: the arraignment/initial hearing. 

Mark J. O'Brien's cases have been featured in:
The New York Times | The Miami Herald | Bay News 9 | abc 7 | The Boston Globe | USA Today | Tampa Bay Times | FOX News Channel | The Washington Post | abc Good Morning America | Chicago Tribune | NT News Talk Florida | St. Petersburg Times | Deadspin
“Mark, thank you for everything. I will forever be indebted to you. You have stood by me and believed in me when it was not the popular thing to do. You are an amazing advocate.” Adam Filthaut
  • Former Partner at the Law Firm of Adams and Diaco (Robert Adams and Stephen Diaco)
  • MJ (Todd Schnitt) Morning Show/Bubba the Love Sponge Clem Trial
  • Attorney Phil Campbell DUI Setup/Florida Bar Trial
More Testimonials
American Association for Justice National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers | NACDL 1958 Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers | FACDL Super Lawyers AVVO | See Reviews LC | Lead Counsel Rated g+ | See Reviews