J. Pete Theodocion, Attorney at Law
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Augusta Criminal Defense Blog

The difference between embezzlement and conversion

The traditional stereotype of white-collar criminals is influential executives who embezzle funds for personal use and financial gain. They often are portrayed as business-savvy men who scam their own companies of vast amounts of money. Often, that’s not the case.

In reality, most people in higher management or accounting departments have access to critical corporate funds – making embezzlement a possibility. However, embezzlement involves more than solely taking money from a business.

Clinic accused of violating False Claims Act in Georgia

Federal crimes are those that fall under federal jurisdiction. Some crimes, like medical fraud, will be charged at the federal level. It's not always individuals that face charges, either; it can be organizations or business entities, too.

Take, for example, this case accusing a northwest Georgia clinic of reusing single-use equipment. The ear, nose and throat clinic agreed to pay nearly $1.2 million to settle allegations that it reused single-use balloon catheters. The government claims the clinic violated federal law by submitting claims for the procedures.

Is your tax-form error a trigger for fraud allegations?

Tax fraud, a type of federal fraud, is the intentional attempt to avoid paying taxes to the United States government. Generally speaking, this form of fraud typically results in fines and the possibility of imprisonment.

As someone accused of this crime, it's important to be able to differentiate between tax fraud and negligence. Sometimes, what some perceive as you being fraudulent with your taxes is simply an oversight. For instance, if you do your own taxes, you might be unaware of a new law or particular form to file, which could lead to an error.

Do state and federal marijuana laws differ?

The federal government does not recognize the legalization of marijuana. In Georgia, marijuana is regulated under the state's Controlled Substances Act, even though it is not a scheduled substance.

One important thing to know is that Georgia has passed a state law that allows for medical CBD oil to be used. The cannabis oil must have high levels of CBD but low instances of THC in the oil. A physician must have approved the treatment for a patient who qualifies for this treatment under state-qualifying condition requirements.

Federal crack-down on dark web drug dealing

An old fable says that a frog tossed into a pot of boiling water will jump out, but a frog put in a pot of lukewarm water will not perceive the gradual temperature changes and be cooked to death.

This cautionary tale demonstrates how people grow accustomed to gradually increasing threats to their environment. For example, the often-gradual transition between selling drugs to friends and dealing drugs full-time.

Trade fraud growing in the United States

An interesting type of white collar crime recognized by the government is trade fraud. This kind of fraud is an up-and-coming scheme, particularly with an increase in imports into the United States.

What exactly is trade fraud, though? How does it truly affect the American consumer? According to a July 13 article, the problem is that the goods coming into the country aren't legitimate. They may be knock-off goods or of poor quality. This is passed onto the public, violating the False Claims Act.

Federal drug charges may just be the fight of your life

Drug charges are always a very serious matter that you should fight with all your available resources. However, if you face federal drug charges, the stakes are suddenly much higher. Like many crimes, drug crimes that involve crossing state lines, for instance, escalate in seriousness because they now involve not only state laws but also federal laws. If your alleged drug offense is only minor, then you may only have to deal with the state-level laws that apply, but once you cross into federal territory, the sentencing gets much more severe.

Regardless of one's position on consuming drugs, it is fairly uncontroversial to state that drug crimes receive far harsher penalties in America than any other nonviolent crime. If you hope that "it's really not that big of a deal, everyone faces drug charges at some point," you are sadly mistaken. If nothing else, our legal system is very effective at harshly punishing those accused of drug crimes. If you fail to mount a strong defense, you may pay a truly unfair price and lose months or even years of your life in incarceration.

3 FAQs on drug sniffing dogs

Police dogs can be both impressive and intimidating. All at the same time. Depending on the dog, they can track down a missing person, catch a criminal, find drugs or sniff out explosives.

The increased use of dogs to help in everyday police duties like searching for illegal drugs seems like an efficient solution, but how well is it working and what are some of the risks of using dogs in drug searches?

After fraud allegations, protect your rights with silence

Facing fraud allegations is never a simple experience, and even once you overcome them, the allegations themselves may leave a mark on your personal and professional reputation.

Unfortunately, in the complex world of business we live in today, it is often not always apparent when you cross a fuzzy line between "legal" and "illegal." This is especially true if you work as a part of a large, interdependent group of professionals and rarely look outside of your own area of practice.

2 tips to fine-tune a defendant's criminal defense

Perhaps police pulled you over and found an unmarked bottle of pills in your pocket while you were crossing state lines. Perhaps an officer thought you stole something from federal property, but the item was yours and you were carrying it on your person when stepped onto the property. Or, maybe a Sheriff's Deputy caught you in the act of mailing some crystal meth to another state. No matter what the circumstance surrounding your arrest and federal crime allegations were, in the United States, you will remain innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Until then, you have every right to defend yourself against your charges.

Here are two strategies defendants and their attorneys can use to fine tune the defense theories brought forward in federal court:

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Augusta, GA 30901

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