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

Safety valve brings relief but also risk

Mandatory minimum sentences have been a controversial subject for years. If you are convicted of certain crimes, the courts have little choice when it comes to imposing sentences for those offenses. This can mean a person with a conviction for a non-violent crime, such as a drug crime, may face decades in prison, separated from family and friends. For many families, this can be a hardship they have no means to overcome.

Some of those families have worked hard to bring reform to federal sentencing guidelines. Fighting for fair penalties for those facing federal drug charges, groups like Families Against Mandatory Minimums have succeeded in bringing the need for sentence reform to the eyes of lawmakers in the federal government. One of those reforms is the exception to the mandatory minimum called "the safety valve."

3 face charges after alleged GoFundMe scam

If you ever go online, you've probably seen the site GoFundMe. When used correctly, it's a way for people to seek and collect donations. Unfortunately, some people take advantage of the platform to commit fraud.

Take for example this case where a 40-year-old individual has been charged with fraud and money laundering in a $400 GoFundMe scam. It's claimed that the man scammed donors out of over $400,000 by making up a story about a homeless veteran. He has pleaded not guilty to the allegations.

Chrisleys face federal charges over allegations of fraud

Tax evasion is a serious crime, but that doesn't mean that a case can't be resolved in your favor. Allegations of fraud could be alleged after someone reports that they believe you've participated in fraudulent activities or as a result of the state or government's own investigations.

If you are charged with fraud, you need to take it seriously. Take, for example, this case in which reality TV stars Todd and Julie Chrisley were able to settle state tax-evasion charges. They agreed to settle the case for $147,944.75, and they were able to receive a refund of over $66,000 for the tax years between 2013 and 2016.

Get help with your felony drug charges

Federal drug crimes are among the worst you can be accused of. While a state drug crime has its own penalties, federal charges tend to have harsher consequences.

You may face federal charges if you're accused of selling or dealing drugs. The penalties will be determined based on the kinds of drugs sold, the number of prior offenses you have, where the drugs were sold, the age of the person you sold the drugs to and other factors.

8 plead guilty to federal charges over contraband

A former correctional officer with the state prison has now pleaded guilty to contraband-related charges along with seven other employees from the Georgia Department of Corrections.

The woman pleaded guilty on Sept. 13 to a single count for the intent to distribute marijuana. There were two other charges against her that were dropped. For the charge, she could face up to five years in prison.

4 face drug charges after allegedly distributing opioids

The opioid crisis has made the government crack down on the distribution and prescription of opioid painkillers and related drugs due to addiction in the general population. Patients sometimes become addicted to these medications, and they can be misused.

An Atlanta-based doctor and three residents from Bartow County have been indicted on federal charges based on allegations of the illegal distribution of opioids and other drugs following an investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Arrest for drug crimes can lead to asset forfeiture

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has many ways of dealing with drug crimes. Their goal is to dismantle those organizations that profit from the drug trade, and this is a noble effort. You may agree that the number of people and families in Georgia who have suffered because of drug addiction is epidemic. However, this does not mean law enforcement agencies, even at the federal level, can fight drug crimes by violating your rights.

One method DEA agents use to diminish the flow of drugs into the country is to seize assets from those accused of committing drug crimes at any level. While there are laws that protect you from unlawful seizure of your property, the federal government allows many exceptions and exemptions when it comes to drug crimes.

Mortgage fraud can lead to heavy fines and prison

Mortgage fraud is an umbrella term that includes a number of illegal schemes for misrepresenting or misstating information on mortgage documents. For example, someone who submits falsified W-2 forms to obtain a mortgage could be accused of fraud.

Usually, fraud involves only two parties: the party relying on information to complete the transaction and the party providing the inaccurate information. Mortgage fraud crimes are sometimes charged as bank or wire fraud or conspiracy.

Jail time possible in Todd Chrisley fraud case

Tax evasion is a serious crime that can land you in jail. That's exactly what happened in the case of Todd Chrisley and his spouse, who were indicted on federal charges. A federal grand jury decided on the indictment in mid-August and included 12 counts for wire fraud, tax evasion and other criminal actions.

The indictment alleges that the man's production company was used to hide the income made from their reality TV work. It also claims that Chrisley told his employee to falsify the income and asset forms in text messages sent between them.

Is your new business a pyramid scheme?

Federal white collar crimes come in many forms. One that is important to learn more about is a pyramid scheme. Many people get pyramid schemes and multilevel marketing (MLM) campaigns confused, because they do have some similarities.

In a pyramid scheme, the entire point is to get the victim to give up money. That person is then used to recruit more people who also lose out on their investments. On the other hand, a multilevel marketing company has the main goal of moving product.

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J. Pete Theodocion, Attorney at Law
507 Walker Street
Augusta, GA 30901

Toll Free: 866-537-9545
Phone: 706-250-8762
Fax: 706-722-3006
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