Category : corruption
Lisa Steed, a former Utah Highway Patrol Officer, who was named Utah Highway Patrol’s “Trooper of the Year” in 2007 for making more than 200 DUI arrests, was fired by the department in November for alleged misconduct charges related to her duties. Steed admitted in Court in May of 2012, that during administering a BAC test on Theron Alexander in March 2010, she removed her microphone to perform an unauthorized act.
A class-action lawsuit was filed against Steed and her superiors on December 14, 2012, in District Court in Salt Lake City. The amount of monetary damages is yet to be determined. The lawsuit alleges that Steed filed false DUI charges against numerous people who had passed sobriety tests during her career with the police force. According to Studebaker, more than 40 people have contacted him claiming Steed wrongfully arrested them for DUI or drug charges.
According to the lead attorney in the lawsuit, a dashcam video from 2011 shows Steed pulling over an unidentified woman, who has now joined the lawsuit, for a suspected DUI and arresting her after performing a series of sobriety tests. The attorney claims that even though the woman passed all the tests, she was still arrested for DUI. The charges against the woman were later dropped because her blood test revealed that that there was no alcohol in her system.
Another dashcam video in 2009 showed Steed stun-gunning a motorist, who was determined to be sober later. The state settled the case against Steed in November 2011 for $40,000, without admitting any wrongdoing by Steed or the department.
Steed is currently under investigation by the FBI.
Hiring a Utah DUI Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are arrested for a DUI in Utah, you should hire a Utah DUI criminal defense attorney to help you fight your charges and conviction. At Imhoff & Associates-Criminal Attorneys, we successfully represent clients facing DUI charges in any of the following courts: Salt Lake City, Ogden, Logal, Brigham City, Provo, Orem, Sandy, Roy, Bountiful, Taylorsville, Bennion and all surrounding courts. We understand the seriousness of the charges and how a conviction can impact your life. Your Imhoff criminal defense DUI attorney will review your police report and field sobriety tests to make sure there were no errors or mistakes or your constitutional rights were not violated. We will mount a vigorous defense on your behalf.
If you are accused of federal public corruption, this is considered a serious crime. Public officials are especially held to a higher standard. When someone in public office is accused or arrested for public corruption while serving, the consequences are severe. You may be removed from office and face impeachment as well as face federal prison time and fines if you are convicted. It is also a crime under Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001, for someone to lie to federal government agents which includes knowingly and willfully making any materially false, fictitious or fraudulent statement or representation or lying regarding about any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative or judicial branch of the United States. Many times innocent people are unaware that they may have committed a public corruption crime and/or they might get caught up in the sweep of a government investigation for corruption. The government takes these crimes serious and prosecutes them vigorously. Judges also hand down strict sentences. These matters should not be taken lightly.
The recent trial and a conviction of former Governor of Illinois Rod R. Blagojevich is an example of a public official misusing power and participating in acts of political corruption. Blagojevich was found guilty, of which he was sentenced on December 8, 2011 in U.S. District Court by Judge James Zagel, to 14 years on 18 counts for public corruption. Although Blagojevich apologized and made a plea for leniency, his sentence was the second longest ever sentence in a federal court in Chicago for public corruption. The judge’s message for such a harsh sentence was that Blagojevich had a history of corruption while serving as Governor of the State of Illinois, including the discussion between the Governor and an aide for attempting to sell Obama’s senate seat and obtaining a $300,000 a year job from the Service Employees International Union for naming a candidate to fill the vacant seat after Obama was elected President of the United States, for illegal shakedowns for campaign cash and lying to federal agents. The judge stated that he believed Blagojevich had caused “…damage to the fabric of the State of Illinois… which cannot be easily repaired.”
Blagojevich’s claimed he was innocent, that his legal counsel never stopped him from committing any illegal actions and that he never intended there to be a “quid pro quo for the Senate seat.” Blagojevich was the first Governor of Illinois to be impeached and involuntarily removed from office. He is expected to start serving his sentence on March 15, 2012. His predecessor Governor George Ryan was also found guilty of public corruption and sentenced to a 6 ½ year prison term. Under federal sentencing guidelines and rules, Blagojevich won’t be eligible for release until 2024, at which time he will be 67 years old.
While receiving political campaign contributions is legal, “depriving the public of honest service” is illegal. When there is evidence that a public official tries to seek something of value in return for an official action, that can be considered a public corruption offense. If you are suspected of political corruption or public corruption or you have been arrested for such an offense, it is imperative that you hire a white collar criminal defense attorney immediately to develop a legal strategy to defend you. What you say and do can have lasting and profound effect on your case, so before you speak to investigators, you should consult with your legal counsel. The attorney can assert your first amendment rights and other defenses to either prevent charges from being filed against you, get your case dismissed or get your charges reduced to a lesser charge by having you plea acceptance of responsibility or a plea for leniency.
Under New York Penal Code Laws (Sections 190.25,190.65 and 190.78 -190.86) you could be charged and convicted of criminal personal identity theft for knowingly impersonating or presenting yourself as one or more persons and/or using personal identifying information, including a credit card, with the intent of benefit and/or to injure, defraud or cause such person or persons financial loss. Depending on the amount of goods involved and the number of identify fraud victims, you could either be charged with identify theft of the third degree Class A misdemeanor or higher (Penal Code Section 190.78,190.81-one or more persons defrauded), second degree Class E felony (Penal Code Section 190.79, 190.82-one or more persons defrauded in property in excess of $500) or first degree class D felony (Penal Code Section 190.80,190.83-one or more persons defrauded of property in excess of $2,000). It is also a crime to be in possession of a skimmer device, and you could be charged with a second degree class A misdemeanor (Penal Code Section 190.85) or a first degree Class E felony (Penal Code Section 190.86) if you have been convicted within the last five years of identity theft.
You could also be charged with grand larceny of the fourth degree (Penal Code 155.30-Class E felony), grand larceny in the third degree (Penal Code Section 155.35-Class D felony), grand larceny in the second degree (Penal Code Section 155.40-Class C felony) or grand larceny in the first degree (Penal Code Section 155.42-Class B felony property value exceeds over $1,000,000).
Fines and Sentences:
In New York, you could face a minimum jail sentence of up one year for an identity theft conviction or up 7 years, and fines from $1,000 up to $5,000, and you may also be subject to restitution to the victim under Penal Code Section 60.27. A first degree Class B felony grand larceny conviction carries a sentence up to 25 years imprisonment and a fine up to $25,000.
Credit card fraud and identity theft are also considered federal offenses under 18 U.S.C. Sections 1028 and 1029 when someone knowingly transfers or uses another person’s identification, including a credit card number, with the intent to commit an illegal act or defraud someone to obtain goods or services in excess of $1,000. You could face a fine and/or imprisonment up to 10 years.
New York police have indicted 111 people in the nation’s biggest and the most sophisticated identity theft credit card fraud ring case. “Operation Swiper” began almost two years ago with undercover police and wiretaps of a five group I.D. theft ring based in Ozone Park, Queens. Police reported that the groups sometimes worked together. As of Friday October 7, 2011, police had arrested 85 people and seized handguns, computer electronics and $650,000 in cash during the arrests after searching several homes. Accordingly to New York Police Commissioner, Raymond Kelly, the I.D. theft ring purchased expensive items such as Apple electronics, luxury handbags, shoes and other products with stolen credit card information and then sold it overseas.
The way the I.D. theft ring worked was they hired skimmers who were retail store or other service industry employees who swiped credit card information on a skimming machine in order to steal the information from unsuspecting restaurant patrons and other business customers, as well as bank employees who had information about high end customers. The information was then given to a team of manufacturers in Russia, Libya, Lebanon and China who put it on blank credit cards. These new cards were then used by these five main teams and their criminal shoppers to purchase electronics and luxury items totaling approximately $13 million.
Among those arrested were bank tellers, restaurant workers and other service employees who used the cards also to pay for their luxury shopping sprees and stays at 5 start hotels as well as travel in rented luxury cards and private jets. Communications seized by New York police were in Russian, Arabic, Farsi and other languages, which had to be translated into English. According to New York police, the investigation was primarily centered on an Apple case because thieves can easily sell Apples products overseas.
Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney
Identity theft, credit card fraud and related crimes are serious crimes in New York, and you should hire a New York criminal defense attorney to represent you. The attorney will aggressively defend you by reviewing eyewitness identification statements made against you and raising evidentiary issues at hearings in order to get your charges reduced, attempt to obtain community service, probation or get your case dismissed.
A retired Louisiana judge, Michael Walker, was sentenced to 10 years in prison after being convicted of racketeering and corruption. Racketeering is the illegal act of extortion, in which intimidation is used to get individuals or businesses to pay money or perform favors.
Walker wasn’t the only Louisiana judge to face such corruption charges, as his cohort and peer Vernon Claville, a Juvenile Court Judge in the Caddo district, has also been convicted of racketeering and corruption. Claville is expected to be sentenced by mid-October 2008.
Evidence of Corruption
An FBI investigation, officially known as “Broken Gavel,” was responsible for uncovering evidence of Walker and Claville’s corruption earlier this year. According to investigators and prosecutors, Walker and an unnamed bail bondsman would receive cash bribes from defendants in northwest Louisiana in exchange for reduced bonds or expedited arraignments.
During the investigation, the FBI was able to tape phone conversations in which the bail bondsman arranged the bribes. The FBI also videotaped a few instances in which Walker took the bribes. Both pieces of evidence were presented to jurors at the trial.
Following his conviction, Walker officially stepped down from his post as judge. He made no statements during his trial or sentencing hearing.
Other Forms of Judicial Corruption
Unfortunately, this case highlights the taboo and unsettling topic of possible judicial corruption. While many tend to think of corrupt judges as those who simply exchange a ruling for cash (as was the case with Walker and Claville), there are a number of other ways that corruption can shake judicial neutrality.
Some of the most common forms of judicial corruption typically include:
- Denying the admission of certain evidence
- Ignoring or supporting perjury
- Manipulating procedure
- Permitting unsubstantial claims or disregarding valid assertions
These and other acts of judicial corruption are not only unethical but also life altering for those facing criminal charges.
(Source: Find Law News)
Have you been charged with a crime or affected by judicial corruption? If so, contact us today to speak to an experienced criminal law attorney who will provide you with the legal support you need to get your charges reduced or help you find justice.
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