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Minneapolis Federal Criminal Defense Law Blog

Little discussion of charges in latest breach

Residents in Minnesota and around the nation may well be feeling concerned about what is perhaps one of the largest and most concerning data breaches to be experienced in recent years. One of the three largest credit monitoring organizations has said that personal information for more than 140 million people may have been accessed inappropriately or even fraudulently.

While details of this alleged security breach are still being disclosed and uncovered, one area has yet to receive much focus. There have been few to no reports about who may be suspected of having been involved in or responsible for this event. It is not known whether or not criminal charges may be filed in the case or if it may be chalked up to a technical glitch. Also unknown is exactly who may have received any information.

Indictment verdict in alleged country club fraud

Any person who works in a job in which they have financial responsibilities and control for an entity knows that their actions may be put under a microscope from time to time. That is precisely what is happening to a woman today who used to work for a private golf club in St. Paul, Minnesota. 

For a period of eight years, the woman had been the controller for the Town & Country Club. She has not worked at the club since 2016 and has recently been indicted for her alleged role in a fraud scheme involving embezzlement of funds. Reports state that the defendant is accused of using club monies to pay for the purchase of real estate and a recreational vehicle as well as for her primary residential mortgage and travel.

The dangers of lying to a federal game warden

The consequences of making a false statement to a federal game warden can be extremely high. Knowingly making a false statement to a federal officer is a felony.

It's easy to run afoul of state and federal game laws. Examples of wildlife violations that can result in contact with a state or federal game officer include:

Minnesota’s new deer-hunting regulations for the 2017 season

Minnesota takes protecting its wildlife seriously, and if you fail to follow the state’s deer hunting regulations this fall, you may face serious fines, license revocations and other penalties that may prevent you from enjoying the activities you love. Joseph F. Friedberg Chartered is well-versed in the state and federal regulations governing hunting, trapping and fishing in Minnesota, and he has helped many clients navigate through complex legal issues relating to hunting, fishing and wildlife protection.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has enacted a number of new deer hunting regulations ahead of the 2017 season, and learning and understanding these new regulations can help you avoid running afoul of the law. This year, Minnesota’s deer permit boundaries in the northeast have changed, and the state has also enacted some new guidelines to address the chronic wasting disease that is becoming increasing common within the state’s deer population.

Alleged identity theft charges made

Anyone in Minnesota who has ever found themselves accused of a criminal offense knows that an accusation is simply that and does not guarantee that they are guilty or that they will be found guilty. This may be difficult to keep in mind when in the midst of the arrest process but is something important nonetheless. An example of someone who will want o be working hard to focus on his defense options has recently been arrested for alleged white collar crimes in Connecticut. He also is reported to have connections to a purported tax fraud scheme in Minnesota.

Reports indicate that the defendant is said to have illegally obtained personal information for approximately 2,900 employees in two different school districts in Connecticut and another 2,800 employees in the Bloomington school district in Minnesota. While charges have yet to be filed in Minnesota, the man is facing allegations of identity theft and fraud in Connecticut. These charges allege that he filed more than 100 false U.S. tax returns with total refunds valued at more than a half a million dollars using information from employees in one school district.

Are you unknowingly committing tax fraud?

If you are like many Minnesotans, you may find filing and paying your taxes confusing. The process involved in doing so can prove highly complex, and many people make errors unintentionally and out of negligence, rather than malice or an intent to commit fraud. Some tax-related errors are far more common than others, and recognizing what some of these common tax errors are may help you avoid unknowingly committing tax fraud.

Per GoBankingRates.com, a common error in filing taxes involves claiming incorrect, or inflated deductions. For example, if you are traveling for business, you may be able to deduct certain expenses for food, lodging and so on. If, however, you have your whole family traveling along with you and you deduct all meals, entertainment and related expenses, you can expect the Internal Revenue Service to have some questions. Inflating your deductions, too, can land you in trouble. For example, if you work in your basement and use it for nothing else, you can utilize the home office deduction. If, however, the space also doubles as your family room, you cannot legally take advantage of this deduction.

Tax crime gets new leader at IRS

Minnesota residents who watch the efforts of the Internal Revenue Service when it comes to tax collections and even prosecutions for alleged tax crimes or non-payment of federal income tax will be interested to learn that the IRS has recently announced the appointment of a new official. The man took over as the Chief of the Criminal Investigation Division earlier this summer. This position itself is not new but this appointment is and reflects the IRS' continued commitment to pursuing what it deems to be violations of the tax code or other compliance issues.

The Criminal Investigation Division is responsible for identifying what cases relating to taxes should be federally prosecuted. It also has the authority to investigate these matters. It is the only entity within the federal government that is tasked with any of these things. Examples of the types of cases this agency would be involved with include allegations of fraud among tax preparation professionals or other individuals, employment tax, schemes involving tax payments and more.

Common types of embezzlement

Embezzlement is a type of white-collar crime that covers a wide range of illegal activities. The Legal Information Institute defines embezzlement as the fraudulent taking of personal property by someone to whom it was entrusted. In the case of employee embezzlement, all that must be proven in Minnesota and all other states is one of two things: the employee either had possession of the goods or funds or had substantial control over them by virtue of his or her title or job description or by the practices within the company.

Bizmanualz.com sets forth numerous types of embezzlement. The most obvious type involves cash. Employees can keep the cash from sales instead of putting it in the cash register or other designated repository. They can take cash from the petty cash drawer or from unattended purses, wallets or briefcases belonging to other employees. They also can embezzle the negotiable instruments of their employer. Examples include forging their name to company checks or money orders or misusing refund authorizations or credit and debit memos to manipulate accounts.

Two felony charges levied for alleged counterfeiting

People in Minnesota may sometimes hear reports of crimes that are investigated by federal authorities. These types of cases can include allegations of things like embezzlement, mail fraud, wire fraud and tax evasion just for starters. Another type of offense that may be considered a federal crime involves the production or the use of counterfeit United States currency.

A case in which a man was recently arrested was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service and involves alleged counterfeit activity. According to reports, the 27-year-old defendant was stopped by officers for a traffic offense in Michigan, though he was from Wyoming, in early July of this year. During that incident, officers are said to have found complete currency bills as well as portions of other bills that all showed the same serial number. This raised suspicions and an investigation was launched.

What acts are considered environmental crimes?

In Minnesota and across the nation, crimes against the environment are becoming a huge hot button issue. The penalty for those convicted of environmental crimes can also be quite steep. This is why having Joseph S. Friedberg on your team can be a huge asset if you're facing charges related to these crimes.

First of all, "environmental crimes" can cover a wide array of potential actions, as long as the end result is damage to the environment and/or the ecosystem. Two common problems that often come to mind are oil spills and toxic waste mismanagement, or illegal dumping of waste. The hugely devastating impact of both of these actions put them right into the public's eye whenever they occur.

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