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Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Law Blog

25 accused of federal crimes for tax fraud, identity theft

As the Florida tax season comes to a close, it is not surprising that the authorities have been on the lookout for potential tax crimes. In recent weeks, investigators have arrested 25 suspects who they believe committed federal crimes. The accused persons have been charged with identity theft and filing fraudulent tax returns.

The authorities claim that the tax crime bust uncovered an estimated 14,000 victims who had their identities stolen. The investigators suspect that the 25 accused individuals attempted to file a collective $36 million worth of refund claims, and $9.5 million was actually paid out. Over the past few years, these crimes have become a huge problem, not only in Florida but across the country as well, making it the country's fastest growing crime.

Florida man arrested for DUI after allegedly found asleep in car

During the daily commute, it is not unusual to get stuck behind a hesitant driver who fails to move quickly through an intersection. Waiting at a stop light while opposing traffic progresses is subject to many possible distractions, which may prevent drivers from acknowledging changing light signals right away. In Florida, a drunk driver may have held up traffic for several minutes after he allegedly passed out in his car at an intersection near Courtland Boulevard, before then being arrested for DUI.

The arrest took place after police apparently noticed a vehicle sitting at an intersection for approximately fifteen minutes. When they approached the running vehicle, they claimed to have discovered a 36-year-old male passed out in the driver seat. According to the officers, they tried to wake the man up by knocking on the windows, but the man remained unresponsive for at least ten minutes. With the vehicle still running, officers could only assume that the car was also in drive; so the deputies resorted to breaking the rear passenger window to unlock the door and secure the vehicle before the man could lift his foot from the brake pedal.

Alleged Florida shoplifting ring faces criminal charges

When Florida residents are convicted on theft charges, whether it is petty theft or grand theft, the impact on their future could be severe. Such convictions may result in incarceration, heavy fines, community service and other penalties. In theft crimes, the value of the stolen items will determine whether the charge will be a misdemeanor of petty crime or a felony grand theft. When the theft is identified as racketeering, criminal charges are almost sure to follow.

The office of the Florida State Attorney issued a statement detailing charges against 23 people who were recently arrested as part of an alleged shoplifting ring that was operating across the state of Florida. The State Attorney categorized this bust as historical because the arrests covered all levels of the conspirators in the ring of shoplifters. It was estimated that merchandise in the value of about $15 million was shoplifted in drug stores and grocery stores.

3 arrested for drug charges in Florida during spring break party

As more schools go on spring break, more students will likely be arrested for various criminal charges. During this season, Florida police officers are particularly on the lookout for college students who may be partying a little too hard. In one such instance, three students were arrested on drug charges.

The students came to Florida from another state in order to enjoy their spring break at Miramar Beach. At around 2:40 a.m., two resource officers from the school -- who were there specifically to help reduce the chaos of spring break -- responded to a noise complaint in a hotel. The resource officers claimed that they smelled marijuana in the hotel, and they were allegedly able to track the smell to a second-floor room. The local sheriff's office also apparently responded and searched the room.

Teen accused of juvenile crimes after hand sanitizer prank

Teenagers are notorious for doing any number of foolish acts, including pulling pranks, in order to make others laugh. Unfortunately, these acts and pranks can sometimes be potentially harmful either to the teenager or to the person who is getting pranked, and the teen may not realize that at the time. One such prank gone wrong recently occurred in Florida, and the teen is now facing criminal charges for his alleged juvenile crimes.

In an apparent effort to make the rest of the classroom laugh, one Walton County sophomore decided to prank his teacher. As part of this prank, the 15-year-old put some hand sanitizer in his teacher's Diet Coke. Unfortunately, the teen did not seem to know that ingesting hand sanitizer could be potentially poisonous, and the teacher became sick and had to be transported to an area hospital.

Assistant superintendent accused of cocaine drug trafficking

An assistant superintendent who has worked for Leon County for nearly 30 years was recently arrested under shocking allegations. The Florida man was pulled over for a traffic stop, and a search of his vehicle using a K9 unit allegedly revealed the presence of drugs. The man was charged with drug trafficking cocaine, as well as other crimes.

The man was reportedly driving a school district Chevrolet truck on Highway 98 when he was pulled over for the traffic stop. It is not clear what prompted the officer to have the K9 sniff the man's vehicle because the man was tested and did not have any drugs in his system. Nevertheless, the K9 unit searched the man's vehicle for the presence of narcotics, and the search allegedly yielded a positive result.

Man pleas guilty to federal-level offenses in sex crimes case

A 49-year-old recently entered his plea in his sex crimes case. The Florida man was accused of manufacturing, possessing and distributing pornographic images of children. He admitted that he committed the crimes of which his is accused, and he pleaded guilty to these federal-level offenses.

The criminal investigation began around a year ago when Homeland Security was attempting to track down a young boy who appeared in several pornographic images online. The investigation apparently documented that the images were taken between 2001 and 2002 in the suspect's backyard. The boy had also reportedly been a family friend's child.

Woman arrested for violating domestic violence injunction

A woman was arrested recently on charges that she violated a court ordered injunction mandating that she keep a certain distance away from her ex-boyfriend. The ex filed for the injunction after the woman allegedly committed acts of domestic violence. The 32-year-old Florida middle school math teacher was arrested for violating the injunction, and she is currently in police custody in the Land O'Lakes jail.

On Jan. 28, the woman reportedly went to her ex-boyfriend's house without an invitation. When he refused to let her in, she began beating on the windows and doors of the house. The ex's two children were inside the residence. The ex went outside to tell her to leave, and then he claimed that the woman chased him on foot. He then alleged that she purportedly attempted to chase and hit him with her car.

22 arrested for alleged flood and arson insurance fraud scheme

Twenty-two people were recently arrested after a large-scale investigation throughout Miami-Dade County. These individuals are accused of being involved with an insurance fraud scheme in which a public adjuster would meet with Florida homeowners about how to purposefully flood or set fire to their homes in order to get insurance money. These persons face allegations of arson, fraud and other crimes.

The investigation started when the police allegedly received a tip from an individual who was involved in the scheme. This person reportedly gave the authorities information about the scheme in exchange for a reduced sentence. The individual claimed that the public adjuster was the ring leader in the scheme, and he would operate by using "finders" to target homeowners who were willing to flood or set fire to their homes and then file an insurance claim. He would purportedly get a percentage of the claim.

2 arrested in Bitcoin money laundering scheme: A first in Florida

Two men have been arrested in what police suspect to be the first case of its kind in this state. The two Florida men are suspected of money laundering using the new Internet currency known as Bitcoins. Both men were taken into custody and sent to Miami-Dade County jails.

Bitcoins, established in 2008, are growing as a valuable currency, largely based on the fact that it uses no central authority when issuing the currency. Instead, it uses a system involving a public ledger in order to verify the encrypted transactions. The currency has recently become popular in legal as well as illegal transactions.

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