Jury to reconvene in ex-Senator Edwards’ federal trial

May 21, 2012

Chicago Tribune on May 21, 2012 released the following:

“Colleen Jenkins
Reuters

GREENSBORO, North Carolina (Reuters) – Jurors were set to resume deliberations on Monday in the federal campaign finance case against former U.S. Senator John Edwards, who is accused of using campaign funds to hide his pregnant mistress as he sought the presidency.

A jury of eight men and four women in Greensboro, North Carolina, considered the case for about 5 1/2 hours on Friday before breaking for the weekend.

They must reach a unanimous verdict to convict Edwards, a two-time presidential candidate and the Democrats’ 2004 vice presidential nominee, on any of the six felony counts he faces.

Jurors have nearly four weeks of testimony to weigh as they decide whether Edwards, 58, coordinated a coverup aimed at keeping voters from learning of his extramarital affair while he sought the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.

Prosecutors said the scheme resulted in more than $900,000 from two supporters to be secretly funneled to Edwards’ mistress, Rielle Hunter, and his aide, Andrew Young, who during the campaign falsely declared paternity of the baby Edwards fathered.

The Federal Election Campaign Act states that excess contributions are illegal if they are made for the purpose of influencing an election for federal office.

Edwards’ attorneys acknowledged that the former senator from North Carolina knew about the $2,300 limit on contributions from individuals.

But they argued that the payments from heiress Rachel “Bunny” Mellon and trial lawyer Fred Baron were private gifts – not political contributions – made to support Hunter and to prevent Edwards’cancer-stricken wife, Elizabeth, from learning he had fathered a child with his mistress.

The charges against John Edwards include conspiring to solicit the money, receiving more than the $2,300 allowed from any one donor, and failing to report the payments as contributions.

Each count carries a sentence of up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

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


Rothstein Associate Charged with Alleged Conspiracy to Violate the Federal Election Campaign Act, Defraud the United States, and Defraud a Financial Institution

April 10, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on April 9, 2012 released the following:

“Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office; and José A. Gonzalez, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CID), announced the filing of charges against Steven N. Lippman, 49, of Plantation, for conspiring to commit crimes through the operation of the former Fort Lauderdale law firm of Scott W. Rothstein, called Rothstein, Rosenfeldt, and Adler, P.A. (RRA). The defendant was an attorney admitted to practice law in Florida and, in early 2005, was designated as a shareholder of RRA, but had no equity interest in the firm.

The one-count information, which was filed earlier today, charges Lippman with conspiracy to violate the Federal Election Campaign Act, to defraud the United States, and to defraud a financial institution, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §371. If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum statutory sentence of up to five years in prison.

According to the information, Lippman violated the Federal Election Campaign Act in that he was unlawfully reimbursed by RRA for certain contributions that he made to the presidential campaign of John McCain. More specifically, the information alleges that co-conspirator Rothstein and others, including defendant Lippman, attempted to dramatically increase the stature and political power of RRA on the federal, state, and local levels by making substantial political contributions to political candidates. However, since many of the attorneys and administrative personnel of RRA either had insufficient funds to contribute to the political campaigns and/or lacked the desire to contribute to the various political candidates selected by Rothstein, co-conspirator Rothstein enlisted Lippman and others to contribute to the McCain campaign by agreeing that RRA unlawfully would provide them with the funds to make the political contributions. For example, in one instance, Lippman made a $67,800 contribution to McCain-Palin Victory 2008. Lippman, in turn, received a check from RRA in the amount of $77,500, which constituted reimbursement of the funds he used to make the contribution. The check was fraudulently backdated to reflect that it was issued six days prior to the date of the actual contribution, and the memo section of the check stated “bonus.”

The information also alleges that Lippman engaged in a bank fraud scheme with Rothstein. According to the allegations in the charging document, RRA was experiencing financial difficulties and required a source of funds to maintain the law firm’s operations. Lippman maintained a bank account from a prior law firm where he had been a partner (the LVS account). Around February 2006, co-conspirator Rothstein requested that Lippman use the LVS account to float checks between and among certain bank accounts maintained by RRA, a practice commonly known as “check-kiting.” By simultaneously issuing and depositing checks between the LVS account and the RRA accounts, co-conspirator Rothstein and defendant Lippman would artificially inflate posted balances in each of the checking accounts, which allowed them to unlawfully obtain beneficial financing for RRA from financial institutions during the “float” period, i.e., the time that it took for the checks to clear. For example, the information alleges that from February 2006 through February 2008, Lippman issued checks in amounts ranging from $4,000 to $400,000, totaling approximately $10,311,688, from the LVS account. At the time many of the checks were written, there were insufficient funds in the account of LVS to cover those checks. Defendant Lippman also deposited into the LVS account checks issued from RRA accounts in amounts ranging from $37,500 to $330,000, totaling approximately $10,664,987. Lippman and other co-conspirators engaged in this fraudulent conduct to create the appearance that RRA was an affluent and successful law firm and to gain additional time to meet the financial obligations of RRA.

Lastly, the information alleges that Lippman defrauded the IRS by failing to report as income certain expense reimbursements and other reportable income he received from RRA. Among other things, the information alleges that defendant Lippman and co-conspirator Rothstein agreed that Lippman would be paid a base salary and be given an expense account for which he would be fraudulently reimbursed for personal expenditures disguised as deductible business expenses. This was done so that Lippman and RRA could avoid paying additional federal income and employment taxes. In addition, Lippman was paid from both the operating account and the payroll account of RRA but would only receive an IRS Form W-2 reflecting the money paid to him through the payroll account. Lippman would not report to the Internal Revenue Service the money paid to him by RRA for expenses.

U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer stated, “The breadth, scope, and sheer complexity of Rothstein’s $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme is mind-boggling. Its success depended, in no small part, on the complicity of his colleagues and associates, like Steven Lippman. Lippman, an attorney, is now the ninth person to face criminal charges in connection with this scheme. As this investigation continues, I am sure that more will follow.”

“The charges against Steven Lippman show our resolve to unravel all the schemes in this complex financial fraud perpetrated by convicted Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein and his co-conspirators,” said John V. Gillies Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Miami Office. “It is disappointing that the number of people who chose wrong over right and participated with Rothstein in this massive fraud is at nine and rising.”

“With the April 15 tax deadline fast approaching, it is important for people to have confidence that when they file accurate, honest, and timely income tax returns, their neighbors will do the same,” said José A. Gonzalez, Special Agent in Charge of the IRS-Criminal Investigation, Miami Field Office. “Defendant Lippman attempted to skirt his tax obligations but got caught. IRS–CI will continue to aggressively pursue those who attempt to defraud America’s tax system.”

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI and the IRS-CID. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lawrence D. LaVecchio, Paul F. Schwartz, and Jeffrey N. Kaplan.

An information is only an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls.”

18 U.S.C. § 371

US v. Steven N Lippman – Federal Criminal Information

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

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


Real Estate Executive Pleads Guilty to Making Illegal Campaign Donations

November 9, 2011

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on November 8, 2011 released the following:

“BOSTON— ARTHUR WINN, 72, of Brookline, a Boston-based real estate executive, today pleaded guilty to multiple violations of violating the Federal Election Campaign Act’s prohibitions on making campaign contributions in the names of strawmen or conduits.

WINN faces up to one year in prison, followed by one year of supervised release and a $100,000 fine on each count. He will be sentenced by Chief Magistrate Judge Judith Dein on Jan. 31, 2012, at 10 a.m..

On Oct. 28, 2011, Winn Columbus Center Limited Partnership, the real estate development company in which Winn was a partner, entered into a plea agreement in which, if accepted by the court, the company has agreed to pay over $1.5 million in fines. The company will be sentenced on Nov. 30, 2011, before Judge Joseph Tauro.

Had the case proceeded to trial, the government’s evidence would have proven that WINN solicited and made campaign contributions to a wide variety of candidates for elected office with the hope that these elected officials would generally support his companies’ development projects, including Winn Columbus Center Limited Partnership’s development of Columbus Center. Columbus Center was a mixed-use development that was to be built over the Massachusetts Turnpike and, at times, was designed to include a luxury hotel, condominiums, retail stores, and other amenities.

Additionally, evidence would have shown that WINN reimbursed persons for campaign contributions that he requested they make to certain federal, state, and local candidates of his choosing. In so doing, he concealed the true source of these contributions from the Federal Election Commission and similar state authorities, and, in some cases, avoided the statutory annual limits on the amounts that persons could contribute to candidates for elected office.

Lastly, Winn Columbus Center Limited Partnership, in addition to the illegal contributions caused by ARTHUR WINN, another company executive, Martin Raffol, directed that candidates selected by ARTHUR WINN be solicited for campaign contributions. In particular Raffol was asked to obtain campaign contributions from numerous vendors who performed work for the company for candidates of ARTHUR WINN’s choosing. In response to the increasing demand to solicit these contributions from company vendors, Raffol reimbursed some vendors for the campaign contributions solicited from them. These reimbursements came in, among other forms, payments for inflated or false invoices, including invoices billed to certain publically-subsidized housing communities. According to the Information, in engaging in this conduct, the true source of these contributions was disguised from the FEC and state authorities, and, in some cases, circumvented the statutory prohibition on corporate contributions.

Raffol pleaded guilty to charges in connection with this conduct in September 2010. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 8, 2011, by Judge Richard Stearns.

Collectively there were over $150,000 in reimbursed campaign contributions involved in these matters, including illegal contributions to candidates running for the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as reimbursed campaign contributions to candidates running for state and local office, including candidates for governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, state senate, House of Representatives, district attorney, mayor of the city of Boston, and Boston City Council.

U.S. Attorney Ortiz and Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation – Boston Field Office made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney James Dowden of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

Federal Mail Fraud Crimes

Federal Crimes – Appeal

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

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.