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Cincinnati Federal Crimes Blog

Ohio man faces criminal charges for cashing fraudulent checks

Check fraud of any kind can result in serious criminal penalties in our state. Purposely writing a bad check, signing another person's name to a check or knowingly attempting to cash a fraudulent check are all forms of fraud that may be punishable by a fine or jail time.

For example, a 20-year-old man from Warren, Ohio, is facing various criminal charges after attempting to cash illegitimate checks. The man allegedly tried to cash a suspicious check at a bank and left without cashing it when he was asked for details about the check. The bank contacted the owner of Burk Physical Therapy after the man reportedly tried to cash a suspicious check from the owner's business account.

What is a "reasonable expectation of privacy?"

Police officers in Ohio will often search for drugs on someone's person, in their homes or in their vehicles. The Fourth Amendment protects people against illegal search and seizures in many areas. However, it is important to note that the Fourth Amendment does not apply unless one has a reasonable expectation of privacy in the area that was searched.

The Supreme Court has determined that people have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their bodies, clothing and personal items. If a person owns a home, their privacy extends to the home itself and the area immediately surrounding the home. But, wooded areas, open fields and any other area beyond this immediate surrounding is not included. A reasonable expectation of privacy extends to vehicles, but it is less than the privacy interest of a homeowner's home.

Forgery is a serious crime in Ohio

Signing someone else's name on a legal document, creating a fake ID or presenting a forged check to be cashed, could all be charged as the white collar crime called forgery. Under Ohio Revised Code, Section 2913.31, forgery can be classified as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the severity of the crime.

Generally, selling or creating fake IDs are classified as first-degree misdemeanors, while other forgery crimes are typically classified as fifth-degree felonies. However, forgery crimes can result in second to fourth-degree felonies is certain circumstances. For example, if the crime victimizes an elderly or disabled person, or if the property, services or loss is valued at $150,000 or more, it may be classified as a third-degree felony.

Are you under investigation for health care fraud?

Working in the health care industry puts you in contact with a lot of people, a lot of money and a lot of controlled substances. As a result, many people in your profession receive a great deal of respect, and others often hold you and other medical professionals to a high standard in various regards.

Because you do have dealings with a considerable amount of sensitive information, it is important that you conduct yourself in a manner that would not cause suspicion to come against you. Unfortunately, despite your best efforts, you could still find yourself under investigation for health care fraud.

Could I be charged with drug possession for prescription drugs?

When people think of drug crimes, they often think of possessing or distributing illegal substances, such as cocaine, LSD and heroin. However, possessing any drug without a prescription can result in criminal charges. In fact, with the prevalence of prescription drug abuse these days, law enforcement and criminal courts have been focused on cracking down on illegal prescription drug use and distribution.

In Ohio, possession or distribution of prescription drugs such as Oxycodone, Percocet and Xanax can result in serious legal consequences. Under Ohio Revised Code, Section 2925.11, prescription drug possession charges could result in a loss of a driver's license, fines, probation and jail time. In addition to legal consequences, additional consequences occur due to the conviction on one's record. For instance, those convicted may be disqualified from getting a loan or professional license, or have difficulty getting a job.

Tax evasion and tax fraud are serious crimes in Ohio

Taxes are generally due on April 15th each year, and failure to pay them could result in criminal prosecution. Under Ohio Rev. Code Sec. 5747.15, a person who fails to file a tax return or purposely underpays their taxes may be charged with tax evasion, while a person who purposely reports false information on a tax return to avoid paying taxes could be charged with tax fraud.

In addition to tax evasion or tax fraud, an Ohio resident may also face charges for embezzlement, falsifying business records, grand larceny and other white collar crimes. State and federal governments, as well as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), could decide to conduct a full investigation to determine what criminal charges you should face, if any.

We can help defend against fraud charges

Anyone involved in any sort of business transaction is at risk of facing fraud charges. It is easy for someone to accuse one of obtaining another's money or property, or using that money or property for unlawful purposes or personal gain. Signing someone else's name to a document, falsifying documents, making false statements on a welfare or loan application or using a credit card without the owner's consent are all forms of fraud and could result in serious criminal charges.

With one's back against the wall, the accused may find themselves saying anything and everything to defend against these allegations. However, anything one says could easily be used against them by prosecutors as they build their case.

Two Ohio residents face drug charges

According to Ohio law, any person who knowingly possesses a controlled substance can face serious consequences, including fines and jail time. However, many people charged with drug crimes are often charged with additional crimes for resisting arrest or otherwise failing to follow the instructions of the officers on the scene.

Akron police reportedly arrested a man and a woman on various criminal charges after finding them hiding behind a stack of tires in a fenced-in area of a tire shop in Akron. The police responded to a call of breaking and entering and found the two suspects. The man climbed the fence and was reportedly taken into custody with methamphetamines in his possession. The woman apparently refused to climb the fence or identify herself, but after the fire department cut the lock off the front gate, she was allegedly caught with a backpack with syringes inside.

Authorities severely punish illegal dumping

Perhaps one of the highest costs you deal with in your business is fees for disposing of unwanted materials. This may be especially expensive if your business deals with old tires, large buckets of paint or other hazardous items. While residents with a few tires or a limited number of half-full paint cans may have no trouble with disposal regulations, a business dealing in tons of restricted materials may face thousands in fees for proper disposal.

Unfortunately, some may take a short cut and dump their materials illegally. If you are facing charges for environmental crimes related to illegal dumping, you are not looking at a fine for littering. Depending on the type and amount of materials, you may be facing federal charges that can lead to severe consequences if a court convicts you.

Ohio man indicted for involvement money laundering scheme

Earlier this month, we discussed how money laundering in Ohio can result in felony charges. A man from Mason, Ohio was recently indicted for his alleged involvement in a money laundering scheme. The man, along with a man from Denver, Colorado, were indicted on various charges including misrepresentation in the sale of securities, money laundering, theft, securities fraud, and selling securities without a license. Arrest warrants were apparently issued for the two men.

According to prosecutors, the men are responsible for the theft of over $1.8 million from two Meigs County residents in 2013 and 2014. The Ohio man allegedly solicited the two individuals to invest in various companies that were involved in purchasing and developing website domains. He is accused of laundering the individuals' money through accounts under the name of businesses owned by the Colorado man. The men then put the laundered money towards their other businesses as well as their own personal accounts.

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