Arizona Federal Judge Declares Judicial Emergency

January 31, 2011

The U.S. Courts for the Ninth Circuit announced last Tuesday that Chief Judge Roslyn Silver of the U.S. District Court of Arizona has declared a judicial emergency under the Speedy Trial Act (18 U.S.C. § 3161-3174). Judge Silver’s order suspends the time limits set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 3161, which require that a federal criminal trial commence 70 days after a complaint or indictment. The judicial emergency allows a federal criminal trial to begin a maximum of 180 days after being charged. The emergency order does not affect the provision requiring filing of an indictment within 30 days of an arrest and it does not affect time limits for those that are awaiting trial.

The order declared the federal emergency would last for 30 days, but at the request of Judge Silver the Ninth Circuit Judicial Council extended the suspension for an additional year. The suspension will last until February 19, 2012.

The judicial emergency was one of the initiatives of Chief Judge John Roll, who was among the victims of the recent shooting in Tucson, Arizona. Arizona federal courts have experienced a drastic increase in their federal criminal caseload due to illegal immigration and drug trafficking cases. The Arizona federal court currently has three vacancies and is eligible for as many as five judgeships based on its case load. In the Tucson division, which handles the most cases, three judges are handling an average of 1,200 cases each. While the strain on the District Court in Arizona is front and center due to recent events, nationwide there has been a shortage of judges, and various legal groups have called on the President and Congress to make nominations and confirmations a top priority.

For a complete reading of the Jurist news article, please click here.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, Interpol Litigation, International Extradition and OFAC Litigation.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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Jared Lee Loughner Case May Take Years

January 25, 2011

The man accused of carrying out the mass shooting in Tucson pleaded not guilty Monday afternoon in a Phoenix courtroom — an initial step in a case against Jared Loughner that could take years to wind its way through the criminal justice system.

Both federal and state authorities intend to prosecute Loughner in the January 8 shootings. There will also likely be proceedings over whether to move the case to a different venue, a possible insanity defense, and prosecutors’ push for the death penalty.

The Tucson man is charged with the attempted assassination of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the attempted murder of two of her aides. He is accused of opening fire on a Giffords political event that wounded 13 people and killed six others, including a federal judge and a 9-year-old girl who was born on Sept. 11, 2001.

Loughner will later face state charges dealing with the other victims following the outcome of the federal case.

The case was moved to Phoenix because one of the six dead, U.S. District Judge John Roll, was based in Tucson and federal judges there recused themselves. All the federal judges in the rest of the state soon joined them, and a San Diego-based judge is now assigned to the case.

Now that Loughner has entered a plea of not guilty, the question arises whether he will claim an insanity defense.

Before the case even gets to trial, the court would have to decide whether Loughner is mentally competent to stand trial. If he isn’t, he would be sent to a federal facility for a minimum of four months to see if they can restore his competency. It could be up to a two-month wait just to get him into one of those facilities.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, Interpol Litigation, International Extradition and OFAC Litigation.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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Arizona Aviation Company and CEO Indicted for Alleged Violations of the Arms Export Control Act

November 1, 2010

A federal grand jury in Phoenix returned a two-count indictment against Floyd D. Stilwell, of Phoenix, Arizona, and Marsh Aviation Company, of Mesa, Arizona, for a violation of the Arms Export Control Act and Conspiracy.

The indictment alleges that beginning on and before November 2005 and continuing up to February 5, 2008, Stilwell, Marsh Aviation, and others contributed to the export of T-76 military aircraft engines from the United States to Venezuela for use by the Venezuelan Air Force. The T-76 engines are a designated item on the United States Munitions List which under the Arms Export Control Act makes it illegal to export without a license or written authorization from the Department of State. The T-76 aircraft engine was designed for the OV-10 Bronco Aircraft which is a Light Armed Reconnaissance Aircraft specifically suited for counter-insurgency missions.

Additionally, the indictment alleges that Stilwell and Marsh Aviation Company furnished assistance to members of the Venezuelan Air Force, including training in the assembly, testing, repair, maintenance, modification, operation, and use of the T-76 military aircraft engine, without having obtained the necessary license or written authorization from the Department of State. As a result of the indictment, Stilwell and Marsh Aviation were summoned to appear in court.

It seems that the violations in this case stem from the lack of a proper license. Unfortunately, Stilwell and the Company cannot claim lack of knowledge as a defense. The law in this area, specifically export licensing, is very strict on imposing licensing requirements. If the government can prove failure to acquire a license beyond a reasonable doubt, it will result in a violation. The Company will most likely receive a fine, however, Stilwell may be facing a fine and/or a prison sentence.

It is also unfortunate that the government is legally permitted to include a conspiracy charge against an individual and a corporation. Because a corporation is considered a legal entity, an individual can be held liable for conspiring with it, regardless of the fact that it seems counter-intuitive.

A conviction for a violation of the Arms Export Control Act carries a maximum penalty of 10 years, a $250,000 fine, or both. A conviction for conspiracy carries a maximum penalty of five years, a $250,000 fine, or both.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, Interpol Litigation, International Extradition and OFAC Litigation.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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Arizona Mayor Indicted; Faces Bribery, Theft, Fraud and Money Laundering Charges

September 29, 2010

Attorney General Terry Goddard today announced the indictment and arrest of Mayor Octavio Garcia Von Borstel, 29, of Nogales, Arizona, on multiple charges including bribery, theft, fraud, and money laundering.

Garcia Von Borstel was arrested at his office at the Nogales City Hall this morning. Concurrently, search warrants were executed at his home, business and City Hall office.

The mayor’s father, Octavio Suarez Garcia, 59, of Nogales, also was indicted and arrested today. He faces several charges that include fraud, theft and money laundering.

Garcia Von Borstel began serving as the city’s mayor in April 2008.

FBI agents began investigating Garcia Von Borstel five months ago, most likely without his knowledge or consent, and have alleged that he was soliciting Nogales businesses to hire him as a business consultant as early as February 2009.

The indictment also alleges that the mayor received money from at least one business in exchange for utilizing his official position to protect a contract the business owner had with the city and to assist the business owner in obtaining an additional city contract.

The mayor’s father, Garcia Suarez, was an agent for Western Union authorized to sell Western Union money orders from his money transmitter business, ACE Cash Express, in Nogales. The state alleges that Garcia Suarez fraudulently reported that Western Union money orders worth $3.2 million were sold though there were no cash deposits to back them up. Allegedly, the money orders were then cashed by Garcia Von Borstel and deposited into a bank account he controlled.

Typically, an investigation of a public official begins when authorities are tipped off by another employee within the local political system that is under investigation and is looking to make a deal at the sacrifice of someone else’s career and reputation.

Because of Garcia Von Borstel’s public official status, if convicted, the judge will be permitted to increase his sentence.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, Interpol Litigation, International Extradition and OFAC Litigation.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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Arizona Man Charged with Alleged $7 Million Internet Scheme and Tax Evasion

August 12, 2010

A federal grand jury in Tucson returned an 88-count indictment against Anthony Mark Boscarino, 44, of Phoenix, formerly of Tucson, on August 4, 2010. Boscarino is charged with 51 counts of wire fraud, 17 counts of money laundering, 8 counts of mail fraud, and several tax evasion and firearms charges.

The indictment alleges Boscarino used his sports handicapping Internet business, called Mike’s Lock Club, to solicit customers to invest in several fraudulent schemes.

One alleged scheme involved soliciting money from investors to give to a fictitious high limit slot machine player who made regular trips to Las Vegas to play with investor money. The indictment alleges investors wired the defendant more than $7,688,000 and that he diverted approximately $5,000,000 through various financial institutions for his own personal use.

The indictment also charges the defendant with making false statements to the Securities and Exchange Commission, which was investigating one of his schemes, and with evading paying taxes on more than $2.6 million in income in 2008 and 2009, and failing to pay $400,000 in back taxes he had agreed to pay after failing to file taxes from 1999 to 2006. He was also charged with being a convicted felon in possession of two shotguns and one pistol recovered from his Phoenix residence, and allegedly making false statements on a firearm purchase form about his lack of felony convictions when he bought two firearms from a Tucson gun dealer.

An indictment does not mean that the individual is guilty. In fact, because the indictment is granted by a grand jury that is only presented with the government’s story, there is a high likelihood that much of the allegations are not the truth. Unfortunately, the individual being indicted does not have an opportunity to present their case until trial, and has no power to prevent an indictment against themselves.

A conviction for mail fraud or wire fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years, and/or a fine of $250,000 or both; 10 years and/or a fine of $250,000 for money laundering; five years and/or a fine of $100,000 for failure to pay taxes and tax evasion; 10 years and/or a fine of $250,000 for possessing a firearm as a convicted felon; and five years and/or a fine of $250,000 for making false statements on a federal form required for the purchase of a firearm.

If convicted, the judge will most likely follow the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, even though he is not required to do so. Even if Boscarino is acquitted of most of the charges against him, the judge is permitted to consider those as other bad acts, and apply them to his sentence, which is usually very detrimental to the individual.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, Interpol Litigation, International Extradition and OFAC Litigation.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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