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March 2013 Archives

Medicaid scam lands Milwaukee nurse in hot water

A Milwaukee nurse has been convicted of serious charges related to Medicaid fraud after being found guilty by a jury following a trial that only lasted five days. This fraud conviction could very well lead to a six-year prison sentence when she is sentenced on May 16. The 50-year-old nurse allegedly began the fraudulent activities back in June 2010, when a parent interviewed her for a job taking care of a young girl with health care needs that had to be attended to at home. The nurse wasn't hired, but authorities alleged that she went on to charge a total of $32,330.41 to Wisconsin's Medicaid program by claiming that she was taking care of the girl.

State official resigns among questions of scandal

On March 12, a lieutenant governor submitted a brief letter of resignation that expressed her honor in serving her state after she was questioned regarding a federal probe. Speculations surrounded her involvement in Internet crimes and racketeering charges from Internet cafés supposedly containing illegally used slot machines after 57 other people that were connected to the same company were taken into custody. Like Wisconsin, Florida laws prohibit the use of slot machines for gambling purposes. Florida's Department of Law Enforcement personnel questioned her although additional information regarding her involvement in the case is unknown. The governor believed her resignation was the right thing to do under the circumstances. Another staff member for the governor related that she did not want the investigation to distract the current administration.

Attorney General may relax computer crime law enforcement

Tech savvy Wisconsinites who are concerned about too much government oversight of Internet activities may be relieved to hear that the U.S. Attorney General is looking into allegations that computer crime legislation is being enforced too strictly, specifically as it relates to terms of use. However, at the same time, the Department of Justice is seeking to strengthen the penalties associated with computer crimes and stated that it does not want to give the impression that they are backing away from the prosecution of these white-collar offenses. A Vermont senator asked the official if the AG's Office unfairly prosecutes minor and inconsequential, albeit technical, violations of the law. The chief AG responded that their office is investigating and monitoring the ways the statute is enforced and the types of crimes they prosecute. Although not yet a law, a committee has approved an amendment that keeps the DOJ from basing prosecutions on term of use violations alone. 

Wisconsin sting operation raises doubts

A sting operation involving a 10-month investigation in Milwaukee was criticized by an official from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms for various problems. Although the sting resulted in at least 31 arrests on charges of federal crimes, the ATF official stated that changes would be made in future undercover operations. The problems with this sting operation covered a wide range of issues, including stolen guns, the loss of one agent's ballistic shield, theft of nearly $40,000 in merchandise and charges being brought against the wrong suspects. The special agent in charge of the division admitted that mistakes had been made, but he also defended his officers, citing the high number of arrests. However, an independent investigation revealed that most of the counts were for minor gun and drug crimes. 

Suspects face charges for marijuana sales

Two suspects stopped on Feb. 25 in Shawano have been charged with possession of marijuana for sale. Police detained the men during a traffic stop after they found one of them was driving on a suspended license. The first defendant, a 20-year-old, was driving. He faces a penalty of up to 42 months in prison and a $10,000 fine if he is convicted for the drug crimes. The second suspect, a 22-year-old, could receive a steeper consequence because he has a prior felony conviction for burglary on his record. During the traffic stop, law enforcement personnel could allegedly smell the odor of marijuana. Officers with K9 units searched the vehicle and discovered about 130 grams of marijuana in separate baggies, a scale, a grinder and additional drug paraphernalia. The plastic bags appeared to be coded with initials that corresponded to a similar list on a piece of cardboard. 

Pair taken into custody on federal charges of money laundering

Racine law enforcement personnel recently took a Mount Pleasant couple into custody following an investigation involving local authorities and the DEA into their restaurant, which allegedly served as a front for drug-related money laundering. The pair has been accused of federal money laundering and white-collar crimes by the Racine Police. Several local, state and federal law enforcement agencies collaborated together in the investigation. These charges are directly related to a 2008 federal cocaine and drug distribution bust in Racine. The female who was arrested on March 1 is the sister of one of the co-defendants in that incident. She allegedly purchased the restaurant and additional property with the money gained from the 2008 crime. Drug proceeds were then laundered through the restaurant. As a result, the federal government has placed a hold on the proceeds from the restaurant and other properties until a verdict is been reached in these new charges.

Milwaukee young men charged following drug bust

Wisconsin prosecutors take drug charges extremely seriously. This means that there are frequently scores of young individuals that have bright futures put on hold when they are charged with drug crimes in Milwaukee. Very often these individuals think that if they cooperate with police and answer their questions, they will get some sort of lenient treatment. This is not the case. It really is true that anything an individual says can and will be used against them. Accordingly, it is best to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney before answering any questions from police.

Man sees sex crime charges issued against him dropped

The mere allegations of a sex crime have the potential to devastate an individual in Milwaukee. If someone accuses an individual of a sex crime, even before a charged individual ever sees a courtroom, the court of public opinion can be quick to condemn the charged individual. In some instances, the allegations are simply not true. Yet, there can still be permanent damage to an accused individual's reputation in the eyes of the community.

Milwaukee man jailed for 133 days for drug crime he didn't commit

The false imprisonment of a Milwaukee man accused of a drug crime he didn't commit serves as a sobering reminder that prosecutors and law enforcement authorities can and do make mistakes. To protect against such injustice, it's vital that defendants have aggressive legal representation.

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