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Minneapolis Federal Criminal Defense Law Blog

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.

Understanding health care fraud allegations

When a resident in Minnesota is accused of a serious crime like fraud, it is important to understand what may have led to such an allegation. In many situations, the line between normal business practices and potentially fraudulent activity can be very blurry and very thin. This may make it all too easy for someone to be accused of impropriety because things may look illegal but in reality no wrongdoing occurred. When it comes to health care fraud, there are specific things that are looked for to identify potential illegal actions.

According to the National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association, the manner in which medical services are billed for may contribute to allegations of fraud. Examples include a bill to an insurer for a treatment that some may say is not medically necessary or giving a medical reason to support performing a test or procedure that otherwise would not be covered under the patient's policy. Submitting insurance bills for individual parts of a treatment versus as a whole may end up resulting in more income for the provider and may raise suspicions about fraud.

Allegations of homeowner's association fraud being reviewed

Embezzlement charges in Minnesota can take many forms and may cross multiple types of industries and lines of work. People who hold jobs with fiduciary responsibilities may be at risk for being accused of theft or embezzlement in part because of their seemingly easy access to funds. That, however, does not actually mean that they are guilty of impropriety. As with any criminal case, it is always important that the full facts of a matter are reviewed carefully.

One man who previously worked for a property management company is today potentially considered as having perpetrated some type of fraud yet no charges have been filed in the case. This is a good example of how important it is to be accurate with the facts. What is known is that the man worked for a firm that oversaw multiple homeowner's associations for townhome and condominium communities.

Forensic accounting basics

If you have been accused of a financial crime in Minnesota, there will be many things you will need to learn about how your case may be investigated or handled. Some of what you will need to know is the type of offense you are charged with and what the minimum or maximum penalties associated with it may be. Also important to learn is how your case may be reviewed or investigated. It is not only law enforcement teams that may be involved in an investigation or prosecution as other professionals may be called in at times. One such professional is the forensic accountant.

The Forensic CPA Society explains that a forensic accountant is an accounting professional who also has deep experience in and knowledge of legal and courtroom proceedings. Such a professional may be called in to participate in a criminal case to both investigate the financial facts of the matter and to potentially testify in court during a trial. A forensic accountant may also provide testimony via a deposition and may submit written reports with their findings and analysis.

Man to spend 90 years in federal prison

When residents in Minnesota find themselves accused of criminal charges, they need to know that the process from an arrest to a conviction can be lengthy and complex. It may also find them facing different charges by the time they get closer to a resolution of their cases if they enter into plea agreements. Additionally, if a person is convicted, there may remain the abilty to appeal a decision which may result in a different outcome ultimately.

A man from White Bear Lake was recently sentenced to 90 months in federal prison after the conclusion of a case investigated jointly by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigatoin Division and the Minnesota Department of Commerce Fraud Bureau. While reports indicate that the defendant plead guilty to charges of money laundering and mail fraud, it is not known what he may have originally been charged with and if the final result reflects a plea deal. It is also unknown if there is any plan to appeal the decision.

Understanding cyberstalking

Minnesota residents who have heard reports of people being accused of crimes online may wonder exactly how these alleged crimes are defined. One such action is referred to as cyberstalking or cyberharassment. Symantec, the software company that manufacturers the popular antivirus program Norton, indicates that it is essentially actions that make use of internet technology for the purpose of stalking others online rather than in person.

The actions may include allegations of identity theft, exploitation of a sexual nature or non-sexual nature, monitoring, threatening or even obtaining personal information that is then altered or destroyed. Cyberstalking also involves actions that may appear obsessive, illegal and are not sought or wanted by the other party.

Agency alleged to have defrauded Medicaid

Many types of situations may result in an individual or a business being accused of criminal activity in Minnesota. White collar crimes may sometimes seem hard to understand and they may not always really be as they appear or are made out to be by the media. In addition to facing criminal penalties for allegations of things like fraud, defendants may also be subject to financial consequences if they are round guilty of charges.

This is part of what has happened to a company that is no longer in existence from the Twin Cities area. The business is said to have stopped providing services in 2016 after it was alleged to have defrauded Medicaid. The business was a mental health services agency that was supposed to provide counseling and other services to people in their homes. Many clients are said to have lived in remote areas. The agency's president has been accused of forcing employees to falsify documents in patient records. These documents and records were often used to bill Medicaid in ways that authorities allege were fraudulent.

Conditions of supervised release or probation

If you have been convicted of a criminal offense in Minnesota, you may be eligible for probation or supervised release sometimes in lieu of spending time in prison. If this is the case, you will want to know that there are very clear parameters associated with such programs. In order to remain eligible for these options, you will need to follow all of the conditions set forth by the judge.

As explained by the United States Courts, you may be required to remain at your residence at all times except when you need to go to work or to a medical appointment. It is also possible that the court may stipulate where you are allowed to live as well as where you are not allowed to live. If you want to leave the area for any reason, you may need to request approval from the court before doing so.

Undestanding conditions of probation

If you have been convicted of a federal crime and your sentence included probation in lieu of prison or probation in addition to some time in prison, you will want to understand some of the requirements of probation and the conditions you must meet. Failure to comply with the conditions may result in you being deemed as having violated the terms of your probation.

According to the U.S. Courts, one of the first things you will need to do is make an initial connection with your probation officer within the timeframe designated by the courts after you are released from custody. At this meeting, you will learn about when and how you will be required to check in with the probation officer on an ongoing basis. Your check-ins may happen in person, via email, phone call or some other method as the officer directs.

Prison and supervised release ordered for accountant

Residents in Minnesota who find themselves accused of white collar crimes may be understandably surprised and confused. A criminal accusation can often feel incongruous with what a person thinks of themselves. When many people think about criminals, they think about people who are accused of things like murder, assualt or drug charges not generally very successful professionals. Yet, many highly educated and accomplished people find themselves in this spot and then they must all of a sudden navigate a very world very unfamiliar to them.

After serving as the controller and accountant for a company for roughly two decades, a man from St. Paul found himself accused of stealing more than one million dollars from his employer. According to reports, the defendant wrote as many as 150 different checks to himself from the business funds. This activity is said to have begun as far back as 1995. In total, he was accused of embezzling $1.2 million from the company that employed him. He will eventually be required to pay restitution for the alleged stolen money.

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