Tax Evasion Defense

Tax Evasion Defense

An overwhelming tax debt could be hard to resolve, especially when you have accrued this debt over the years. Failing to do so could lead to serious legal consequences, at the state and federal levels. Sometimes tax evasion charges occur due to a mistake, such as a clerical error, or a simple misunderstanding. Regardless of why you have been charged with tax evasion, you will need an experienced attorney who can help you build a strong tax evasion defense, as quickly as possible. The law office of John R. Teakell is the legal firm for you. When you hire our office, you will have access to an experienced team of legal professionals who are highly qualified to take on various aspects of the law, including tax evasion.

What is Tax Evasion?

If you fail to pay your taxes, this can be considered tax evasion if you did so knowingly. It is illegal to avoid paying your taxes. If you file your taxes, but file a fraudulent tax return, this is also considered tax evasion, which is a felony, and if you are convicted of this crime, you could face time in prison, in addition to fines. A corporation convicted of tax evasion could pay up to $500,000 in fines, while an individual convicted of the same crime could pay up to $100,000 – the penalties will depend on the tax amount, and if you are being charged on the state or federal level.

There is a difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion. The former occurs when you use legal methods to reduce or avoid tax payments; those legal methods include finding tax shelters or loopholes. Tax evasion is when you use illegal methods to avoid paying your taxes – or seeking reduced payment amounts.

Making a mistake is not punishable by the law if you can prove that you did in fact make an error. If this is the case, you will be required to pay the amount that you should have paid, in addition to another small fee – the fee and its amount will vary. You will not be convicted of tax evasion and sentenced to prison if you can prove that an error or mistake was made, and you could also avoid the penalties associated with a criminal trial.

Legal Consequences

If you are charged with tax evasion, you could face serious legal penalties, on both the criminal and civil level. Regardless if you are charged with state or federal tax evasion, the court must prove that criminal intent was shown. With so many tax rules, a simple mistake could happen, which is where an attorney could defend you by proving that the intent to commit fraud was never your plan.

Federal Tax Evasion

If the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can show that you have deliberately attempted to underpay your taxes, you will be charged with a federal crime: tax evasion. Failing to file your tax return prevents the IRS from auditing you, or your company’s, finances. The most common example of tax evasion is underreporting income. Most individuals or businesses that are charged – and convicted of – federal tax evasion deal largely in cash, such as retail store owners, waiting staff, or beauticians (and those in the cosmetology field); however, some corporations charged with federal tax evasion report fraudulent records of their finances. Businesses have been known to inflate their expenses, while individuals overstate the size of their families in order to qualify for larger deductions.

If the IRS suspects a business or individual of committing these crimes, it will begin an investigation, which could lead to prosecution.

State Tax Evasion

Texas does not require you to pay local taxes; therefore, the main source of state revenue comes from sales tax, which is why tax evasion is a serious charge, especially for businesses in Texas who fail to pay taxes – or those who commit fraud. You must keep accurate records of your sales. Using electronic devices to falsify your records is also illegal.

Hiring an attorney with experience in state revenue gives you an added bonus. The attorney could help you find the loopholes in state law. If you are convicted of state tax evasion, you not only face jail time and a fine, but as a corporation, your sales tax permit could be suspended. In some instances, your sales tax permit could be revoked, and the state comptroller will deny any future permits.

Get the Legal Help You Need

Waiting is never a good option, especially with tax evasion charges. You want to build a strong case immediately, so you can handle the situation and avoid any jail time or costly penalties and fines. The sooner you give the law office of John R. Teakell a call, the sooner we can begin building a strong tax evasion defense for you.

Contact us today and get the legal representation you deserve!

Bank Fraud

Legal Guide

Bank Fraud

A rule of thumb in bank fraud cases and any other type of white collar criminal case is that it is critically important to contact an attorney during the earliest stages. Selecting a knowledgeable, zealous white collar criminal defense lawyer may be the best investment you ever made for your career and your future in general.

A bank or mortgage lender may allege that you submitted false documentation in connection with a loan application. The Law Office of John R. Teakell is an ideal resource for individuals facing allegations of bank fraud as well as for companies dealing with millions of dollars that could be at risk if an allegation becomes a conviction.

Former Federal Prosecutor Represents the Accused in Bank Fraud Cases

People alleged to have committed wrongdoing in the area of bank fraud may include the following:

  • Loan applicants
  • Investors
  • Brokers and dealers
  • If word has come to you that you are under investigation or are named in subpoenas related to bank fraud allegations, the time to hire an attorney to protect your rights is now. Call or e-mail the Law Office of John R. Teakell to schedule a consultation. We will discuss ways to maximize your chances of a favorable outcome:
  • Resolving allegations through civil rather than criminal remedies
  • Obtaining a dismissal of the charges
  • Negotiating a reduction of charges
  • Limiting damage to your life and career as a result of bank fraud allegations.

18 U.S.C. §1344 Bank Fraud: Whoever knowingly executes, or attempts to execute, a scheme or artifice— (1) to defraud a financial institution; or (2) to obtain any of the moneys, funds, credits, assets, securities, or other property owned by, or under the custody or control of, a financial institution, by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises; shall be fined not more than $1,000,000 or imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both.

See also Mr. Teakell’s other Web site to learn more about the firm’s full spectrum of criminal defense practice areas. Contact the law offices to schedule a consultation.

Bank Theft, Embezzlement

Legal Brief

Bank Theft, Embezzlement

BANK THEFT AND EMBEZZLEMENT

By John Teakell

Attorney-at-Law

Dallas, Texas

Thefts and embezzlements from banks are often prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in federal court, although the dollar amounts sometimes are lower than a federal criminal case might involve. This is especially true if the allegation concerns a bank teller or lower lever employee, who may not be able to access larger amounts of money during the ordinary course of employment. The opposite would be a bank officer who engaged in transactions or withdrawals from lines of credit without authorization when the loss amount may be a high-five figure amount (e.g., $90,000) or a six-figure amount (e.g. $500,000).

The federal stature governing this conduct, Title 18 U.S. Code §656 reads:

Whoever, being an officer, director, agent or employee of, or connected in any capacity with any Federal Reserve bank, member bank, depository institution holding company, national bank, insured bank, branch or agency of a foreign bank, or organization operating under section 25 or section 25(a) [1]of the Federal Reserve Act, or a receiver of a national bank, insured bank, branch, agency, or organization or any agent or employee of the receiver, or a Federal Reserve Agent, or an agent or employee of a Federal Reserve Agent or of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, embezzles, abstracts, purloins or willfully misapplies any of the moneys, funds or credits of such bank, branch, agency, or organization or holding company or any moneys, funds, assets or securities intrusted to the custody or care of such bank, branch, agency, or organization, or holding company or to the custody or care of any such agent, officer, director, employee or receiver, shall be fined not more than $1,000,000 or imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both; but if the amount embezzled, abstracted, purloined or misapplied does not exceed $1,000, he shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

Bribery Federal Contract Fraud

Legal Guide

Bribery / Federal Contract Fraud

Abuse of federal contract has become the focal point in national media. In fact the growing concerns about bribery, federal contract fraud and abuse have led to arrays of investigations of various government contracts in Dallas and all across United States. The criminal defense lawyer John. R. Teakell is committed to provide effective representation to the businesses and people facing investigations in Dallas for their work under government contracts.

Before delving further about how the best criminal defense attorney in Dallas can help let us first understand about the reasons for a federal investigation

Reasons for a Federal Investigation

Every case of bribery and federal contract fraud is different. However below are few of the major instances for which people may find themselves dragged in a government investigation in Dallas.

Fraud: Fraud allegations typically arise when there are question marks involved regarding the contractor’s qualification. The law for

criminal defense has been framed in such a way that any question about education, experience or professional licenses of the contractor may lead to Federal contract investigations and is typically tagged as fraud allegations.

Bribery: Bribery allegations may arise in Dallas when an individual is accused of providing unlawful incentives (in cash, gifts and vacation) to the government official for the greater purpose of getting selected for a contract.

Abuse: The Federal contractors may also find themselves under scanner of the investigators in Dallas when suspected of abusing their administrational power within the community for winning a contract.

Consequences Of Suspected For Bribery And Federal Contract Fraud

Consequences Of Suspected For Bribery and Federal Contract Fraud

Sad but true; if government suspects there is an issue of fraud, bribery and abuse with contractor or even with the contract an investigation will be initiated.

For the uninitiated; federal investigation may lead to an array of consequences. These consequences may include

  • Cancellation of the contract by the Federal Government
  • Calling the contractor for refunding the government payments
  • Imposition of fines
  • Administrative actions (it can prohibit the contractor from working with the state and Federal government in the future)
  • Criminal prosecution (it may include fees and time in jail)

How John. R. Teakell the criminal defense attorney in Dallas can help

John. R. Teakell – one of the most sought after criminal defense attorney values the fact that allegations of misconduct can have a serious effect on your business. It may also affect your life as well as the lives of your employees. This is when you need legal support

and representation from the best attorney. Teakell is committed to provide tailored and personalized representation to his clients facing Bribery / Federal Contract Fraud investigation as the Federal contractor in Dallas. Teakell began his career as an Assistant District Attorney and worked as a Senior Trial Counsel for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, where he prosecuted civil enforcement actions of fraudulent schemes.

In addition to fraud cases, Teakell prosecuted all types of federal crimes in the Northern District of Texas. He also prosecuted extraordinarily large drug trafficking and money laundering cases as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the District of Puerto Rico, as well as federal death penalty cases.

The goal is simple – to work with you in order to stop the investigation in the track thus prevent the filing of any criminal charges whenever possible. If in case that is not possible the criminal defense lawyer will use his skill, legal knowledge and understanding of the specific law for defending your rights and for protecting your livelihood.

There is no hiding from the fact that Federal investigation can have serious consequences however the expert in criminal defense law will work with you to minimize the impact of federal investigation in Dallas

Stop suffering in silence. Meet John. R. Teakell for a consultation

Prescription Fraud

Legal Brief

Prescription Fraud

Prescription Fraud Prosecutions

By: John Teakell

Attorney-at-Law

Dallas, TX

Charges in both State and Federal courts where a person fills a forged prescription, phony prescription, or chooses to change what they were prescribed.

I. Generally

“Prescription Fraud” as it is commonly known, is obtaining controlled substances (illegal drugs) in a fraudulent manner by the use of a doctor’s prescription. Prescription fraud cases can be prosecuted in state or federal court depending on the complexity of the underlying activities, yet most of these cases are prosecuted in state court as a charge of obtaining controlled substances by fraud or a similar charge.

More complex fraudulent prescription fraud cases, such as a continual scheme to obtain controlled substances, or large volumes in numbers of prescriptions used, could result in a conspiracy charge or fraud scheme charged in federal court. These federal cases are to be distinguished from large numbers or unnecessary prescriptions given by a physician, known as “pill mill” cases. A pill mill is the name given to a physician’s office or clinic wherein doctors and other health care workers are accused of providing prescriptions for pain medications where there is no medical necessity.

II. Typical Prescription Fraud

The more-common prescription fraud case involves an individual who obtains controlled substances without a legitimate prescription, or the individual obtains more controlled substances than his/her prescription allows.

Another common variation of these prescription fraud cases includes obtaining prescriptions that, by themselves, would be legitimate; however, the patient obtaining the prescriptions is seeing several or numerous doctors, obtaining numerous prescriptions for the same, or same type of, substance without telling all the other doctors that he/she is seeing numerous doctors at the same time. Thus, the patient obtains numerous prescriptions that are issued by a physician, and the patient can obtain a lot more substances to feed his/her addiction, to create a high, or to sell the excess controlled substances. Often, the substances here are pain medication.

III. Types of Fraudulent Prescriptions

  • Altered prescriptions, that is, legitimate prescriptions with altered (increased) amounts of the substance to obtain additional amounts of legitimately prescribed drugs.
  • Stolen prescription forms from physicians’ offices that are written for fictitious patients.
  • Prescriptions to the real individual with forged doctor’s names.
  • Legitimate prescription forms from a physician with a different callback number where a co-conspirator “verifies” the prescription.
  • Calling in own prescriptions with their telephone number for a callback confirmation.
  • Computer-generated prescriptions for fictitious physicians.

IV. Indictments

Indictments charging criminal cases of prescription fraud are commonly prosecuted in state court as referenced above, and more complex schemes can be prosecuted in federal court.

The federal cases are charged as a violation of Title 21 of the United States Code, and state prosecutions are accomplished by a charge of Obtaining Controlled Substances by Fraud, or a similar charge. In state court in Texas, the statutes used for this prescription fraud are found in the Texas Health and Safety Code, §489.129.

Engaging in Organized Crime

Legal Guide

Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity

Engaging in organized crime’ and criminal activity is a steep legal charge, which is generally utilized when a group works in sync to commit a crime. In lay language when criminal activity is conducted in a rather systematic and structured manner and with an aim to generate illegal income, the Federal and state law then defines it as organized criminal activity. For instance, when a group of people (3 or more people) conspire for stealing something or works in a group for selling drugs, it falls under the category of ‘organized criminal activity’. It is quite a serious charge and therefore should be taken seriously.

Organized crime is a broad category and engaging in organized criminal activity is the state prosecution’s equivalent charge to a conspiracy charge that is frequently used in federal prosecutions. This is because it involves alleged criminal activity by a group of persons who agree to attempt to commit a crime, and who go forward with their agreement to try to carry through with the criminal activity, whether it is fraud, drug trafficking, counterfeiting, or other illegal activity.

It is a complex area, which should be dealt by only experienced defense lawyer. You should build your defense without any further delay if you are charged withorganized criminal activity.

Of course; the techniques and activities may vary however the crime broadly involves

  • Violence
  • Theft
  • Fraud
  • Trade in illicit substances

As briefed, charges for organized criminal activity carry huge penalties and are even harsher than the penalties for common crime charge. Of course a strong and foolproof defense is vital for defending yourself against these charges and the experienced criminal defense attorney in Dallas, John R Teakell can help in protecting you from life threatening charges.

Groups engaged in organized criminal activity have always been the focal point of the law enforcement agencies on the state and federal levels. Texas, on the state level thus enacted this ‘organized crimes law’ against people who engage in illegal activities.

Different Types of Organized Crimes

According to Texas Penal Code it is a crime to be engaged in conspiring and committing organized criminal activity. It involves –

  • Murder and capital murder
  • Gambling
  • Robbery
  • Aggravated robbery
  • Burglary
  • Arson (Malicious burning for destroying property/evidence)
  • Theft
  • Sexual assault
  • Kidnapping
  • Illegal sale of firearms
  • Illegal manufacture of dangerous drugs
  • Illegal delivery of drugs
  • Promoting prostitution
  • Solicitation of a minor
  • Unauthorized use of a motor vehicle
  • Other Felony fraud offenses ( under the chapter 32 of the state Penal Code)

Keep in mind; the state prosecutors have the option of adding the charge of ‘engaged in organized criminal activity’ separately. Let’s take an example here – an individual charged with credit card or debit card crime can also be charged with ‘organized criminal activity’ if in case the circumstantial and other evidences clearly show that he committed the crime with two other individuals.

Even if the underlying crime does not take place, a person can still be charged with violating section 71.02 of the Texas Penal Code for ‘conspiring’ to commit the crime. You need to protect yourself in such instances. You should get the best criminal defense attorney for effective criminal defense in Dallas. Teakell is nationally recognized for his skill in criminal defense. The Law Office of John R. Teakell is committed to the best representation for clients who are under investigation for, or who are charged with, criminal offenses. Whether the investigation or Indictment is from federal court or state court, the law office is ready to meet all your needs for criminal defense representation.

Consequences of Organized criminal activity charge

There is no hiding from the fact that engaging in organized criminal activity is punishable as typically a category higher than the “most grievous and most serious underlying charge”

On the other hand; the offense is a FIRST DEGREE felony and carries the punishment of lifelong imprisonment without parole if the offense is proved as an aggravated sexual assault, if the defendant is of 18 years or more and the victim is of 6 years or less.

If the victim is less than 14 years and the defendant commits aggravated sexual assault; if the victim is less than 17 years and suffers serious bodily injury due to the offense, it will also be considered as FIRST DEGREE felony.

Furthermore; if a criminal street gang is involved in the crime, it also falls under the organized criminal activity and is considered as a FIRST DEGREE felony.

Stay Informed About the Dangers of Overcharging

This law is certainly a powerful tool and when used properly the law helps the enforcement department in combating street gangs and criminal organizations, which otherwise may pose serious risk to the society and community. However often the law is overused and is labeled as ‘overcharging’.

It happens when the state prosecutor charges something more serious and something bigger than what ‘they’ (read the defendants) actually did. Let’s take an example here to understand ‘overcharging’ better. Let’s say 2 people decided to break into a car and steal something. They committed the crime. Later they call over a friend or picks up a friend and all 3 were found in the car when the car was pulled by the law enforcement department. It can be labeled as ‘overcharged’ if all of 3 of them are charged with ‘engaging in organized crime’. On the contrary the reality is 1 would not be guilty and the rest of them would be charged a misdemeanor instead of jail felony.

How John. R. Teakell the criminal defense attorney in Dallas can help.

The fact of the matter is; you need not to be the member of any infamous gang in order to be charged with organized crime. To be precise; you even do not have to know the identities of the other alleged participants to be charged with organized crime. All that the prosecutor needs to charge you with organized crime is just the evidence that 3 or more people have worked together to carry out the criminal activity. It is thus quite easy to find yourself facing serious charge and even more serious consequences than you may actually have thought.

Only an experienced lawyer has the legal knowledge, skill and the technical knowhow to point out to the jury where that evidence falls short. The Law Office of John R. Teakell stands ready to assist in your case, not only in court appearances, but also in preparing evidence to rebut the government’s case or in the preparation of a trial defense. His skill, technical knowhow and immense experience in this particular area can save you from prison or can help in shaving years off from an otherwise possible sentence.

Remember; the charge of organized criminal activity requires proof beyond all reasonable doubt. This means; the evidence that the prosecutor collects should establish the fact that the defendant acted with an intention to “participate in a combination, to commit or conspire to commit one or more offenses.” Criminal defense in Dallas is complex and Teakell can work to establish the fact that no such organized criminal activity has been committed if 3 or more people were not involved. During the pre-file investigation Teakell can work to convince the prosecutor that the evidence is not adequate enough in proving that the combination of people existed. Of course; this means reduced charges. Teakell maintains open and clear level of communication in order to pursue the best outcome possible, regardless of the complexity of the case.

Retaining the best criminal defense attorney early in the investigation is therefore very critical to form a strong defense in your favor. Fret not; he knows how to counter prosecutor’s strategies in order to obtain favorable results. Act now if you have been charged with engaging in organized crime. Talk to Teakell Now

Credit Card Debit Card Abuse

Credit
and debit card Fraud

Credit card and debit card abuse is common these days. Credit card fraud law thus typically establishes criminal penalties for deceptive, unlawful or unauthorized use of another person’s credit card account in an attempt to

  • Steal
    money
  • Steal
    goods
  • Steal
    services

In Texas the statutes prohibiting credit and debit card abuse and crimes have been enacted at all levels of government. The laws are also enforced by a number of agencies, ranging from local police to the U.S. Secret Service department. Credit and debit card Fraud charges can have serious consequences hence when charged, defending yourself and trying to secure a verdict or not guilty should be the ideal goal. Skilled criminal defense attorney, John. R. Teakell can make a tremendous difference in the outcome of your case.

Unlawful
or unauthorized credit
and debit card fraud
is committed under any of the following circumstances when –

  • An
    individual unlawfully captures and uses someone else’s credit or
    debit card information
  • An
    individual unlawfully uses someone else’s credit or debit card
    details to purchase goods and services.
  • An
    individual unlawfully uses someone else’s personal information to
    open a credit card account. This is also regarded as identity theft.
  • An
    individual uses his own credit card knowing well that the card is
    invalid or revoked.

Types of Credit Card Fraud Crimes

Typically the most common Credit Card Fraud Crimes can becharacterized in two ways such as –

  • “Card
    present” crimes
  • “Card
    not present” crimes

As the name implies the “CARD PRESENT” CRIMES are those in which the victim’s credit or debit card has been stolen. The category in this case also includes the unlawful schemes such as –

  • Applying
    for new credit cards in the victim’s name
  • Changing
    the address on the victim’s account for getting replacement of
    cards

On the other hand the “CARD NOT PRESENT” CRIMES do not require the thief to gain access to the victim’s physical card. The fraud is accomplished by recording the credit card number and other identifying information. In fact these schemes are the most difficult to detect, as the victim and the thief can be thousands of miles apart during the time when the credit card information is stolen.

Credit and debit card fraud charges are usually FELONY OFFENSES that can be prosecuted in state and even federal court. It is thus important you speak with best criminal defense attorney as soon as possible If you or a loved one are facing felony charges for credit or debit card fraud.

Below are just a few of many examples of potential credit and debit card fraud schemes.

Debit
card fraud

It is similar to other types of credit card fraud and involves a debit card that has been linked to a bank account. The fraud thus makes it possible to withdraw funds from a bank account or credit institution.

Identity
thefts and credit card fraud

Identity thefts and credit card fraud occurs whenidentifying information is obtained and the stolen identity is used in obtaining a credit card unlawfully. The victim whose identity has been stolen thus will have the debts listed on his or her credit report.

Pre-paid
credit card fraud

The fraud involves using the balances on a prepaid card without authorization. Standard credit card fraud schemes are used for prepaid card fraud.

Corporate
or company credit card fraud

When an employee embezzles company funds by using the company credit card unlawfully, it falls under Corporate or company credit card fraud schemes. The Corporate cards are also susceptible to other types of fraud, such as creating the cloned card etc.

Merchant
credit card fraud

This kind of fraud occurs when a merchant is defrauded in some manner related to credit. In fact merchants are also at risk of merchant credit card fraud with cloned or stolen credit cards.

Penalties
for Credit and debit card Fraud

Finding of guilt for Credit and debit card Fraud could result in high fines, long prison sentence, court costs, supervised probation and also a permanent black mark on your record. Keep in mind; state and federal authorities usually make the decision on whether you should be prosecuted on the state level or the federal level

Credit card fraud is usually a felony offense. For the uninitiated; felonies are more serious crimes and penalties may result in more than a year of jail time. FELONY credit card fraud is punishable by a $25,000 fine and 15 years in prison.

Whether or not the credit card fraud will be considered a felony however depends on a number of factors. The state statute might make credit card fraud a MISDEMEANOR if

  • No
    property is obtained with the stolen card
  • The
    property obtained does not exceed the amount of $500

It carries a penalty of a fine of $1,000 and a sentence of up to one year in the county jail. As the value of the property obtained through the unlawful usage of the credit card increases, so does the penalty.

First Offenses vs. Repeat Credit Card Fraud Offenders

Like any other criminal offenses, prior convictions can make your legal situation worse. In case of Repeat Credit Card Fraud Offenders the maximum sentence could go up to 20-years.

As one of the leading Credit Card Fraud defense lawyer John R. Teakell has successfully represented defendants on the state and federal level. As a former prosecutor, Teakell knows first-hand the most promising methods of compelling the government to prove its case against the accused, or drop the charges.

How John Teakell the best criminal defense attorney can help.

It makes sense to mention here, facing prosecution for any kind of white collar crime is a terrifying experience; however credit card fraud charges take even greater toll on the defendant. Needless to say; credit card fraud carries a certain stigma hence the local prosecutors are thus inclined in “making an example” of the defendant in order to ensure that these frauds are not treated leniently. Do not take a chance with your future. Do not just trust any lawyer to defend you when you are accused of credit card theft.

Only a skilled credit card fraud attorney can be a powerful ally in proving your innocence or ensuring that a fair sentence is handed down. The Law Offices of John R. Teakell in Dallas, Texas, provides customized, attentive legal services to people accused of white collar crimes.

The fact of the matter is; for those who plan to plead guilty, it is his job to reason with the judge. On the other hand; for defendants who are going to trial, Teakell reviews

  • State’s
    evidence for discrepancies
  • Conducts
    independent investigation
  • Develops
    winning trial strategy
  • Present
    the case to the jury in convincing fashion.

As one of the most preferred Criminal defense attorney in Dallas Teakell sifts through facts with a fine-tooth comb in pursuit of mitigating circumstances or evidence most likely to bring about the greatest degree of “damage control” possible. Meet John. R. Teakell for a consultation

Extortion and Federal Threat Crimes

Legal Brief

Extortion and Federal Threat Crimes

THREATENING COMMUNICATIONS, EXTORTION, BLACKMAIL AND OTHER THREAT CRIMES IN FEDERAL COURT

By John Teakell Attorney-­‐at-­‐Law

Dallas, Texas

I. Generally Title 18 of the United State Code contains several federal crimes of extortion, communicating threats, and similar federal offenses, whether the communication is via “wire” or mail. Sections 871 through 880 of Title 18, U.S. Code, list these federal crimes: §871. Threats Against the President §872. Extortion by U.S. Officers or Employees §873. Blackmail §874. Kickbacks from Public Works Employees §875. Interstate Communications §876. Mailing Threatening Communications §877. Mailing Threats from Foreign Country §878. Threats Against Foreign Officials §879. Threats Against Former Presidents §880. Receiving Proceeds of Extortion

Generally, the crime of “blackmail” has become more known as “extortion.” Extortion is essentially threatening to do something, or disclose something, that will in some manner harm the potential victim of the threat. Often, the threat of the potential harm is done in attempts to obtain something of value, whether it is money or some non-­‐tangible benefit. It is a federal crime pursuant to the use of interstate or foreign communications (see Title 18, U.S. Code, §875, Interstate Communications), or the use of the mail (see Title 18, U.S. Code §876, Mailing Threatening Communications). A federal threat crime can also be prosecuted pursuant to the requirement that it involve a violation of federal law (see Title 18, U.S. Code, §873, Blackmail).

II. Commonly Used Charges

The most common extortion or extortionate threat prosecuted by a United States Attorney’s Office or by the U.S. Department of Justice is for Interstate Communications, which involves threats of harm (can be physical, economic, or other) that are carried out by the use of wire transmissions, such as emails, faxes, computer chats or messages, wires, or other interstate or foreign communications. Mailing threatening communications would have been considered a common method of communicating threats that violate federal criminal law several years ago, but with technological advances with computers and communications, more such threats are commonly communicated by an interstate transmission than by using the mail system.

A less-­‐commonly charged federal crime than threats by interstate communication, but probably more known by the public, is the federal offense of Threats Against the President. The U.S. Secret Service commonly investigates leads of persons who may appear to have made threats against the President of the United States, yet a small percentage are actually formally charged through the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

III. Threatened Harm

The threat has to be an actual threat, and the potential or threatened harm can be economic, but it does not have to be so. A threatened harm can be to reputation or to any information that would negatively affect a person or his/her business.

Title 18 U.S.C. §875, Interstate Communications, references a potential, or threatened: 1) kidnapping; 2) harm/injury to a person; 3) harm to the property of a person; or 4) harm to his reputation.

Title 18, U.S.C. §876, Mailing Threatening Communications, lists the same potential harms from a threat as the subject of prosecution: 1) kidnapping; 2) harm to a person; 3) harm to property; or 4) harm to reputation.

Note that Title 18, U.S.C. §873 contains the phrase “under a threat of informing, or as a consideration for not informing.” This is the classical blackmail/extortion situation, wherein a person would threaten to inform people or the public of a wrongdoing or an embarrassing matter, in order to obtain a payment for not disclosing such information. Such information could be the subject of a legitimate prosecution for criminal activity, yet the “blackmailer” or person making the extortionate threat, would still be guilty of committing the crime of extortion or blackmail (or making threatening communications, depending on how the prosecution charged the case).

IV. Extortionate Credit Transactions

Title 18 of the U.S. Code makes it illegal to make extortionate lending of credit, which is, in general terms, making loans with rates of interest in excess of 45%. These types of transactions are historically associated with organized crime figures and/or “loan sharking.”

Extortionate lending offenses are found at 18 U.S.C. §891, et seq., specifically at §§892 and 893.

V. Investigations

Investigations of threatening communications are often started by a complaining person, who claims to have been threated by email, text, mail, or some other manner. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Postal Inspectors, U.S. Homeland Security and the U.S. Secret Service can investigate these complaints of threats or extortion. The U.S. Secret Service becomes aware of letters written to the President or other communications to the President or White House due to their monitoring for security reasons.

These federal investigations, like all other federal investigations, would be prosecuted by a United States Attorney’s Office in the district where the offense occurred, or it might be prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice. Some threats could be prosecuted in the District of Columbia, such as a threat against the President.

VI. Sentencing

Any person convicted in federal court of extortionate threats, blackmail, or threats against the President, is subject to the type of sentencing as in other federal cases. That is, such sentencings are guided by the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, taking into consideration the recommendation punishment range from the calculations of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines. These calculations depend on the base level of the particular guideline, plus the enhancements for factors that address the egregiousness of the incident(s). See the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and U.S. Sentencing Guidelines Manual.

Deceptive Business Practices in Texas

Legal Guide

Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA) – Deceptive Business Practices

Deceptive trade practice is an activity where business or individual engages in misleading or luring public into purchasing a product or service. In Texas, the Deceptive trade practice law has been designed to protect consumers from false or misleading advertisement. The Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA) thus prohibits vendors and salesmen from using

  • False statements
  • Duress
  • Exaggerations
  • Misleading advertisements to generate business

Of course; DTPA is a potential weapon against a business, which has treated consumer improperly. This means; if the business has made misrepresentations regarding its services and goods, if consumers have been harmed due to these misrepresentations then as per the state and federal law the business is obliged to compensate the consumer for the harm it might have caused. In fact past few years have witnessed literally an explosion of U.S. DTPA prosecutions and enforcement actions. There are ample examples of companies that are paying much higher penalties and fines than ever before. As a business owner you should also build your defense without any further delay if you are charged with DTPA. Consider retaining experienced Deceptive Business Practices Act lawyer to give professional guidance and training.

Texas and federal laws thus cover a whole array of acts, which are regarded as unlawful if engaged in a transaction between a seller and the consumer.

As briefed earlier the act is pretty broad and covers a number of situations, such as

  • Misrepresenting the quality of goods offered for sale
  • Misrepresenting the characteristics or value of the goods offered for sale
  • Not disclosing information about goods or services intentionally
  • Not disclosing information about goods or services to lure the consumer to entering into a transaction
  • Breaching an warranty
  • Financing that is fraudulent or misleading
  • Wrongful debt collection
  • Taking advantage of the consumer’s language skills, or not reading well
  • Using false or misleading advertising
  • Exaggerating the benefits of a product
  • Passing off a used product as a new one
  • Making false allegations about a competitor
  • Price gouging after natural disaster or catastrophe

The Law Office of John R. Teakell is committed to the best representation for clients who are under investigation for, or who are charged with, DTPA – Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Armed with his skill, industry knowledge and experience he is an expert in handling such cases

Types of Deceptive Trade Practices

Deceptive trade practices come in a number of forms. Here are a few examples of deceptive trade practices –

False Advertising : It is illegal in Texas and it includes making false statements about

  • The advertiser’s product
  • The competitor’s product

Keep in mind; only objective claims may violate false advertising laws and subjective claims such as “professional grade” or “best value for your money” are harder to enforce.

Bait and Switch: This type of scam occurs when an advertiser lures a customer into a store for a particular product and gets the customer to purchase similar item however the deal in such cases is always better for the seller.

Odometer Tampering: The Texas vehicle code also makes it unlawful to change the mileage on an odometer.

Deceptive Pricing: Texas law prohibits retailers to list “regular” prices with a “sale”. This involves marking up the regular price of a particular item to make the buyer believe that they are getting a better deal.

Low Stock Scams: The state and federal law prohibits sellers from listing a low price for an item with a low stock

Penalties for Unethical Trade Practices

Charges for DTPA carry huge penalties. Foolproof defense is vital for defending and protecting your business against these charges. Experienced criminal defense attorney in Dallas , John R Teakell can help in protecting your future from such severe charges

The fact of the matter is; certain violations of the consumer protection laws are categorized as criminal acts punishable in Texas as MISDEMEANOR offenses. For instance; the retailer falsely advertising that it is going out of business or misrepresenting itself as a wholesaler can be convicted of a misdemeanor. It carries a punishment by fines ranging from $100 to $500.

Other violations, for instance pyramid promotional schemes, are prosecuted as FELONY criminal offenses.

Grading of offenses —

Consumer Product Safety

The most common form of consumer protection is ensuring product safety. This segment is typically handled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CSPC). The ideal of the commission is to ensure that all producers adhere to strict safety standards. Remember, the CSPC has the authority to order a recall of an item that does not meet those standards.

Warranties

Another common area of dispute involves warranties. Following are the 3 different kinds of warranties with which the consumer can hold the business accountable to:

  • Express Warranty: This type of warranty is always written down and it thus includes the product’s paperwork. Most products have express warranties.
  • Merchantability Warranty: This is an implied warranty that labels the product as fit to sell and functions as intended.
  • Fitness Warranty: This is an implied warranty. It assumes the seller will provide products to the buyer that suit that buyer’s need and purpose.

Lending Laws

All lenders are required by law to fully provide and explain the complicated finance terms and conditions attached to many forms of credit.

A violation of this section constitutes:

  • Felony of the THIRD DEGREE if the amount involved exceeds $2,000
  • Misdemeanor of the FIRST DEGREE if the amount involved is $200 or more but $2,000 or less
  • Misdemeanor of the SECOND DEGREE if the amount involved is less than $200 or when the amount cannot be ascertained
  • When the victim of the offense is 60 years, the grading of the offense shall be one grade higher

How John Teakell the best criminal defense attorney can help.

John. R. Teakell employs a strong defense and a practical approach to assist his clients before a problem arises. Needless to say; an ounce of prevention in deceptive trade practices can save many millions of dollars in investigative costs and sanctions. As the best federal defense attorney , Teakell know how to prosecute civil enforcement actions of fraudulent schemes

As a matter of fact; the attacks on the evidence offered by a consumer is difficult to prove at a trial unless there is written documentation to support the allegations. As a skilled federal defense lawyer, Teakell has successfully prosecuted all types of federal crimes in the Northern District of Texas. He will work toward the goal of closing the investigation with no prosecution, which would prevent any DTPA charges.

He stands ready to assist in your case, not only in court appearances, but also in preparing evidence to rebut the government’s case or in the preparation of a trial defense. Schedule an Appointment with Deceptive Trade Practices Lawyer – John R. Teakell

 

Federal Trade Commission Violations

Legal Guide

Federal Trade Commission Violations

Texas Antitrust Law – Federal Trade Commission Violations

Business owner will be able to avoid the potential legal and business disputes by becoming familiar with the federal and state antitrust laws.

Comprised of 3 different acts, antitrust laws typically govern certain significant aspects of business practices.

• The Sherman Act
• the Federal Trade Commission Act
• the Clayton Act are aimed at preserving fair competition and in preventing monopolies in business

Sherman Act, which once outlawed all restraint of trade, now prohibits unreasonable restraint of trade (as per the Supreme Court guidelines).
The Federal Trade Commission Act prohibits unfair competition and deceptive business practices. According to the Supreme Court, any violation of the Sherman Act is also a violation of business law under the FTC Act.
In the Clayton Act, certain illegal and unlawful business practices which that were not specifically addressed in the Sherman Act are prohibited.
These laws have been designed for protecting consumers from overzealous businessmen while facilitating healthy business competition within the economy. If you are accused of Federal Trade Commission Violations you should take immediate action for preserving your assets and for avoiding imprisonment. These are federal offenses and these will be prosecuted aggressively by the state attorney. You need an attorney experienced in federal matters to defend your rights in anti-trust violations cases. John. R. Teakell provides clients with knowledgeable, personalized legal counseling and client for federal criminal charges.
Consequences of federal offenses
In simple terms; the antitrust laws has been designed to prohibit unlawful mergers and unlawful business practices. Deceptive acts and statements violate the Federal Trade Commission Act. The violation of Texas’ antitrust law occurs only when it is shown that the defendant conspired with others for restraining the trade.

For more than 100 years, these laws have had just basic objectives

• Protecting the process of competition
• Ensuring strong incentives for efficient businesses operation
• Keeping prices down
• Keeping quality up

Under the Sherman Act, defendant may face a fine of $1,000,000 as an individual or $100,000,000 as a business. The defender may also face a 10-year prison sentence. Do not take chance by forgoing legal counsel. Take action and talk to a legal professional who can provide you with honest insight into the antitrust violation charges.

How John Teakell the federal defense lawyer in Dallas can help.

The fact of the matter is; antitrust is typically a complex set of state and federal laws. The law thus prohibits a number of specific business actions, which are within the realm of legal behavior. Only an expert antitrust attorney can assist in instituting these guidelines. As a business owner you thus need a tailored policy. , which are specific to the particular area of your trade. Teakell has years of experience in preventing antitrust liability in specific situations.
Antitrust violation can endanger your reputation, your business and your freedom. If your business is facing investigation for any charges such as – unfair business practices, monopoly, or in fact any other types of antitrust violation, an experienced federal defense lawyer can help. When charged with Federal Trade Commission Violations you need to take immediate action to avoid imprisonment and to preserve your asset. As an antitrust violation lawyer John. R. Teakell has the resources, experience and technical knowhow to provide aggressive defense representation even before formal charges are filed.
Teakell will review your case and will let you know the gravity of the situation and the seriousness of the accusations. Even if no charges have been filed and your business is just facing investigation experienced federal defense lawyer Teakell can still take action to for protecting your rights immediately. He may negotiate with the federal prosecutors for the greater reason of avoiding filing of the charges before the case goes to Federal Court.
Below are some of the types of federal antitrust violation cases which Teakell can handle

• Attempt of creating monopoly
• Unfair competition
• Restraint of trade
• Discrimination between merchants
• Price fixing
• Bid fixing
• Mergers and acquisitions
• Unfair business practices and more

The Law Office of John R. Teakell is committed to the best representation for clients who are under investigation for, or who are charged with, criminal offenses. Whether the investigation or Indictment is from federal court or state court, the law office is ready to meet all your needs for criminal defense representation.
A strong federal defense can help in protecting the defendant’s rights. John. R. Teakell is experienced in this field and his dedication ensures only the best outcomes for the case he handles. Professional legal presentation should include evaluating the need for an investigator, an expert, a computer analyst, and possibly a polygraph examination.

The Law Office of John R. Teakell stands ready to assist in your case, not only in court appearances, but also in preparing evidence to rebut the government’s case or in the preparation of a trial defense. Contact attorney John R. Teakell about your antitrust or Federal Trade Commission case today