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Federal Crimes Archives

Judges aren't required to follow federal sentencing guidelines

Federal Sentencing Guidelines are a uniform set of nonbinding rules that all U.S. Attorneys are to use to guide them in making sentencing recommendations in criminal cases. It's ultimately up to the federal judge, however, to use their own discretion to decide how much they want to adhere to them when sentencing a convicted defendant.

Man pleads guilty to wire fraud conspiracy charges in Minneapolis

A 27-year-old California man entered a guilty plea on conspiracy to commit wire fraud charges in a federal courtroom in Minneapolis on Oct. 25. Prior to his plea, he stood accused of having convinced multiple individuals in the Twin Cities area to buy Target gift guards for him as a part of a tax scheme.

Minneapolis postal worker accused of shooting at Federal Reserve

A 43-year-old Minneapolis U.S. Postal Service worker was charged with several crimes in Hennepin County District Court on Wednesday, Aug. 22. He now faces property damage, attempted bodily harm and reckless discharge of a firearm charges.

What is the difference between copyrights and trademarks?

Many businesses, authors and artists are concerned about protecting their intellectual property and turn to federal law to make sure their work is registered. Generally, people in Minnesota understand intellectual property protections take the form of copyrights and trademarks. But what is the difference between these two categories? Although they offer important legal protections for intellectual property, copyrights and trademarks are not one and the same.

How to tell mail fraud from legitimate business practices

The large number of products and goods that are delivered by mail in today’s economy means there a lot of people who conduct their business through the mail. However, in some cases, a Minnesota business may not be able to fulfill a mail order after a payment has been rendered. Assuming that the business refunds the money or does everything in good faith to compensate the customer, some people may wonder if the customer may turn around and accuse the company of mail fraud. 

Understanding money laundering

Money laundering sounds like a strange term to many people in Minnesota at first. We usually think of laundering as an activity to clean dirty clothing. In a sense, money laundering is the same thing. While laundering money is not literally the same as washing it with soap and water, money laundering does mean to take formerly “dirty” money and distribute it in a way that the money appears to be clean.

What do federal counterfeiting laws cover?

In popular culture, counterfeiting is frequently associated with reproducing fake dollar bills or other currencies. While it is true the federal government outlaws forging paper currency, Minnesota residents should be aware that there are other documents and forms that cannot be counterfeited. Findlaw provides an overview of what kinds of documents are protected from counterfeiting.

When is kidnapping a federal crime?

Kidnapping is a crime that can be confusing when it comes to prosecution. While local or state authorities may take charge and even apprehend the suspect, the actual crime may end up being federal and federal law enforcement may step in. There are specific situations where a kidnapping becomes a federal crime. 

What are the rights of the US Customs and Border Protection?

There are many different federal law enforcement agencies. Each has its own specific jurisdiction. As a resident of Minnesota, you are always under the control of any government law enforcement because you are a U.S. citizen. One branch you may have contact with more than others, especially if you travel, is the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

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