Archives : 2010 : February
White collar crime continues to make headlines. Jamil Murni, 60 lives in Houston Texas and has been a Commodity Manager for the Royal Caribbean Cruises since 2000. His everyday job was to negotiate fair fuel prices and monitor delivery for Royal Caribbean.
This month an indictment was entered against Murni, charging him with one count of money laundering and nine counts of wire fraud in Miami, Florida. According to records from 2003 until later 2006 he orchestrated a scheme and defrauded his employer of more than $625,000.
Florida’s indictment stated he opened via the internet a registered fictitious name called “Sea Fuels Trading”. Florida Department of State’s Division of Corporations confirms such a filing. Then he used his position at Royal Caribbean to gain a contract with them and his new company, Sea Fuels Trading. He never released his ownership or connection with his employer before or during the term of the contract. Therefore, he continued to be employed at Royal Caribbean and sought monumental benefits from the fuel sales at the same time. It was also concluded that the amounts paid to Murni’s company where at a much higher rate than if they used any other legitimate fuel company.
Today more and more white collar and internet crimes are becoming public. In 2002, Senate adopted a 97-0 vote, doubling the original five-year maximum prison sentence for wire fraud to ten years. In hope of deterring such actions as Murni is being accused of. However, the issue remains of the difficult and expensive nature such crimes are to prosecute. The evidence needed in such cases is complex and lengthy to obtain. Complicated rules of law can be interpreted in various different ways.
Defendants in white collar crime cases usually are able to afford top tier Attorneys and aren’t fast to make a plea bargain. For one thing, the limits set by Congress for sentencing in federal cases are not what determine actual sentences in real-world cases. Those are controlled by sentencing guidelines, and the guidelines almost always specify penalties below the maximum. Judges no longer are free to set sentences on their own, and have lost their discretion to opt for maximum penalties if those would go beyond rule ranges.
New changes to the California drunk driving laws are coming in 2010. Effective July 1, 2010, AB91 and SB 598 will require drivers convicted of a DUI to have a California ignition interlock device installed in their vehicles, whether they are first time offenders or repeat offenders, in order to obtain a restricted California driver’s license. The driver is responsible for paying for the device. The average cost to install the device is around $100.00.The program is a pilot program which will be enforced in Los Angeles, Sacramento, Alameda and Tulare counties only. The device measures the driver’s breath to make sure they are alcohol free before they can get behind their vehicle and drive. The driver blows into the mouth piece of the device, and if there is any alcohol detected by the fuel cell that measures the BAC, the vehicle will not start. Restricted licenses are given to drivers in California for limited use to drive to and from work, school and drug or alcohol treatment programs.
The other change in the California drunk driving laws California drunk driving laws also goes into effect July 1, 2010. The DMV must inform a second DUI offender that they are eligible to obtain a restricted license after their 90 day license suspension is completed, and they must inform a third DUI offender that they are eligible to obtain a restricted license after their six month suspension is completed. The driver must enroll in a DUI program and agree to install the California ignition interlock driver device in their vehicle in order to obtain a California restricted license.
Changes in Michigan Ignition Interlock Device Laws
Michigan legislature also has two similar bills which would go into effect January 1, 2011, SB 794 and SB 795. SB 794 is a three year DWI pilot project changing the ignition interlock requirements for offenders convicted of two or more offenses for driving intoxicated or impaired. A sobriety judge would need to certify to the Michigan Secretary of State that the person requesting a restricted license was enrolled in a DWI sobriety court, that an interlock device had been installed in their vehicle and the judge must report annually and inform the Michigan Secretary of State and the Michigan Supreme Court if the offender violates the terms of their program.
Bill SB 795 proposes license restriction changes for persons convicted of multiple DWI offenses and whose licenses have been suspended, restricted, revoked or denied because of two or more intoxicated or impaired driving conditions. Persons with a suspended or revoked license for 45 days must be admitted into to DWI sobriety court, have an ignition interlock device installed and take a driving skills test in order to obtain a restricted license to drive to and from work and home as well as school and to an alcohol or drug education or treatment program.
Both California and Michigan have tough DUI/DWI laws. For instance, California first time offenders may receive jail sentences from 96 hours to six months and fines from $1,000 to $1,600, license suspension up to six months, completion of a driving under the influence program, be required to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle and obtain SR22 (California Proof of Insurance Certificate) car insurance. Michigan first time offenders may receive up to 93 days jail time, up to six months suspension of their driver’s license, may be eligible for a restricted license after 30 days, have to pay a fine up to $100.00 to $500.00 and an additional responsibility fee fine of up to $1,000, may have to participate in community service and be required to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle as well as obtain SR 22 insurance.
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