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July 28, 2017 By Jeff King

  • Moving on With Your Life After a Fraud Conviction
    Perhaps even more damaging than the sentence itself is the oppressive stigma and limited job opportunities that follow from a fraud conviction. These are known as collateral consequences and they are especially severe in cases of “moral turpitude”, which commonly includes any sort of crime of dishonesty.   Consequences of a TX fraud conviction   Fraud charges in Texas vary in level of punishment under the criminal code. For example, stealing or receiving a stolen check is a misdemeanor but forging a check is a state jail felony. Some of the consequences result because of the fraud element, which involves dishonesty, while others apply ...
  • What Counts As Graffiti in Texas and What Are the Penalties?
    Graffiti may seem like a relatively harmless prank to mischief makers, but the penalties can be quite severe in the State of Texas. Back in 2009, 18-year-old Sebastian Perez of Corpus Christi was sentenced to eight years in state prison, without possibility of parole, for three graffiti offenses and possession of marijuana. The judge was later forced to reduce the sentence because the consecutive prison terms he ordered weren’t allowed. However, another teenager from Corpus Christi, Ralph Mirabal, received a $5,000 fine and eight-year sentence for a string of vandalism charges and failing to abide by the terms of his ...
  • When Is Computer Hacking a Crime?
    There are complex statutes surrounding cyber crimes in the United States, including those that apply to computer hacking. “Hacking” is a very broad term that, in and of itself, does not imply illicit activity. In fact, there are hundreds of computer hackers that work completely within the confines of the law, using their knowledge to enhance Internet security, improve software programs and upgrade user systems.   So when is computer hacking considered a crime? In Texas, as in other states, hackers may be prosecuted if they access a protected computer without proper authorization. Under law, this “unauthorized access” entails approaching, communicating with, ...
  • Texas Senator Carlos Uresti Faces Bribery & Wire Fraud Charges
    Texas Senator Carlos Uresti (Democrat – San Antonio) has been indicted by a federal jury and is currently facing 13 criminal charges—including money laundering, wire fraud and bribery — in two separate cases. Though he maintains his innocence, Uresti turned himself into the authorities, who claim that the San Antonio lawmaker defrauded many in a Ponzi scheme involving the now defunct Four Winds, to “market frac sand for oil production, all while making false statements and representations to investors.”   The second criminal case alleges that Uresti was involved in assisting a medical company to land a lucrative contract at the Reeves ...
  • How Financial “Smurfing” Can Get You Into Trouble
    Financial smurfing is a colloquial term used by government officials for money laundering in which a person initiates a series of financial transactions under the reporting threshold of $10,000 to transport offshore, to another bank, or to a criminal in the form of “clean money” to avoid reporting requirements and law enforcement.   How is smurfing done?   Money laundering begins with “dirty money.” Income that is not reported to the IRS is considered “dirty,” even if it was gained through legal, but under-the-table, employment. Money can also be “dirty” through illegal means, such as drug sales, smuggling, prostitution, gambling, bribery, extortion, or human ...

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