Mistrial and acquittal in $300M vacation rental fraud case

MIAMI (AP) – A judge declared a mistrial Friday in the case of a businessman charged with operating a $300 million vacation rental fraud scheme. U.S. District Judge Jose E. Martinez made the ruling after jurors deadlocked on their fourth day of deliberations in the case of Fred Davis “Dave” Clark Jr., the former president […]

Dunedin attorney won’t face trial

  A Dunedin attorney charged with lewd and lascivious molestation won’t be going to trial as prosecutors have opted not to pursue the case. Robert Tankel, 57, was accused last year of inappropriately touching the child on two separate outings to baseball games with the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.  Tankel’s lawyer called the charges […]

Do I need to worry about smartphone security?

Apple has mentioned numerous times in the past several weeks its  promise to offer iOS 8 device users, including buyers of the new iPhone 6, both improved security and privacy. In the process, the company has clarified that it does not possess the keys to iOS 8 data encryption. Data is protected by a unique […]

Making the Case for Going to Trial

The Department of Justice reports that in 2011 over 97% of defendants in federal criminal cases pleaded guilty rather than face a jury. There are many reasons for this, primarily the legitimate fear that going to trial and losing in the age of the federal sentencing guidelines can, and frequently does, result in unreasonably high […]

Calling Fouls As We See Them

Imagine a demonstrative map of the state of California with “San Francisco” appearing at the bottom, “Los Angeles” appearing somewhere in the middle, and an outline of the state of Nevada with a dollar sign where Las Vegas is located to the east. Next, picture a prosecutor arguing, “if you can figure out this is […]

Inspector General Slaps SEC’s Wrists in Madoff Matter

Please find a link below to the executive summary of the Inspector General’s report on the SEC’s alleged failure to discover the Madoff Ponzi scheme earlier than it did. The report discusses but quickly dismisses the romantic relationship between SEC Assistant Director Eric Swanson and Bernard Madoff’s niece, Shana Madoff, as a factor in the […]

Developer Convicted of Fraud Despite Lender’s Supportive Trial Testimony

Christmas was not so good for James Sandlin. On December 22, 2009, the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed his bank fraud conviction in what seems to me a highly unusual case. U.S. v. Sandlin, No. 08-41277 (5th Cir.) (Op. filed December 22, 2009). Sandlin was a developer who applied for a loan […]

Sue Carlton: Buying bail: Another sign of lopsided justice?

John Andrew Welden’s attorney was able to secure the pretrial release of his client in part due to a factor similar to how an infamous white-collar criminal guaranteed his own court appearances: by being able to verify that Welden would be able to provide around-the-clock surveillance of himself at his own expense. Find the full […]

Young paralegal at center of case involving Tampa lawyers, police sergeant

Two young women who previously worked together at a law firm met one another for happy hour in downtown Tampa late one January night. First they visited Malio’s. Next was Fly bar, filled with Millennials and and the younger Gen-X’ers a lot like themselves.   Find the full story by clicking here.