Articles Posted in White Collar Crime

A recent Supreme Court decision is widely expected to make it easier for people wrongly convicted of Florida crime to get compensation. A later ruling out of Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal, however, makes clear that there are still strict time limits on efforts to get that compensation.Defendant was charged with grand theft and uttering a forged instrument, executing a scheme to defraud a financial institution, and counterfeiting a license tag in three separate criminal cases. He eventually entered into a plea deal, under which Defendant plead no contest to the crimes. He also agreed to pay restitution to the victims of the forged instrument and scheme to defraud offenses. Defendant was sentenced to three years of probation on the scheme to defraud charge as part of the deal.

A federal court in 2009 overturned Defendant’s conviction on the scheme to defraud offense. The court held that writing a check that’s unsupported by sufficient funds doesn’t qualify as a fraudulent representation to a bank without proof of intent. So Defendant also went back to state court and asked a judge to scrap his plea deal and give Defendant back the restitution money he had paid for the scheme to defraud conviction. The trial court declined that request in 2009. Some eight years later, Defendant filed a “motion for damages” seeking the return of the restitution money. A judge said that this filing wasn’t timely.

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As workplaces adopt paperless record retention policies, electronic records are increasingly becoming the norm. These files are held on computer networks, and often only a few trusted employees have access to these records. These employees help companies ensure that their records are maintained in compliance with laws, rules, regulations, or court orders and may relate to sensitive information, such as financial records, employees, and company customers.

Florida criminal law addresses the destruction or hacking of computers, computer systems, computer networks, and electronic devices to help protect companies from the actions of bad actors. The Tampa Bay Times reported on 11/1/2017 that a company’s former employee was arrested for allegedly destroying his former employer’s computer data after he was fired. The alleged costs to the company were substantial.

Florida Statutes Section 815.06 criminalizes offenses against users of computers, computer systems, computer networks, and electronic devices. The various crimes range from a first-degree misdemeanor to first-degree felonies. An example of a third-degree felony under this statute is destroying a computer network or electronic device with the specific intent to do so. An example of a first-degree felony under this statute is to disrupt a computer network associated with medical equipment or the direct administration of medical care.

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