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Law Offices of Mark L. Horwitz, P.A.
Sophisticated defense from
a former federal prosecutor
rightAttorney Mark Horwitz is Board
Certified in Criminal Trial Law
by the Florida Bar

Criminal Defense Blog

Florida man pleads guilty to CDL fraud

It may have seemed harmless enough on the outside - a truck driving school that was helping individuals, mainly Russian speakers, obtain a commercial driver's licenses (CDLs). The reality, however, was a scheme that amounted to fraud.

Through the company Larex Inc. and website RussianTruckingSchool.com, Adrian Salari and three other individuals charged thousands of dollars to obtain CDLs for non-Florida residents. In addition to falsifying residency documents, they also supplied students with answers to the driving test using covert communication equipment and used a partner on the inside to pass students who failed the tests, for an extra fee.

Drug convictions can make you ineligible for food stamps

Those convicted of a crime, including felony drug charges, can face many obstacles once their sentence has been served. Most people understand that convicted felons have difficulty obtaining employment. In many states, including Florida, those convicted of felony drug crimes may also be unable to obtain food stamps and other cash assistance.

A federal ban was put into place in 1996 as part of the nation's "war on drugs" and welfare reform efforts. Since then, many states have exercised the option to relax or remove those rules, but Florida is among the seven states that still have the full restriction. 

Orlando trucking company president arrested for drug trafficking

A 39-year-old Orlando man has been accused by law enforcement officials of using his trucking company to transport drugs into Central Florida. Peter Truong, the president of P&T Transportation Corp., has been charged with trafficking in oxycodone, marijuana and cocaine.

The Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation and its member agencies conducted a two-year investigation of the company before arresting Truong and 9 others, including P&T truckers.

Could you be guilty of prescription drug fraud?

Most people understand that medical professionals, such as doctors and pharmacists, can commit prescription fraud. But there are actions patients can take that also could result in similar fraud accusations.

If you obtain prescriptions by misrepresenting yourself to a doctor or pharmacist, that can be considered fraud. If you visit multiple providers to get more medication, that also may be considered prescription fraud. Plus, potential fraud charges can be particularly severe when they are related to a controlled substance, such as oxycodone or Valium. 

Florida man accused of posing as dead man for 20 years

Now that much of our personal information is stored somewhere on the internet, authorities in Florida have increasingly issued charges of identity theft against residents. Identity theft is a type of theft crime in which the offender misuses another person's identifying information, such as a Social Security number or credit history, in some way.

It is rare for authorities to claim that an identity thief was as committed to the role as a Florida man allegedly was. The Pasco County Sheriff recently claimed that a man arrested for identity theft has been posing as another man for around 20 years.

Medicare Fraud Case Results in 4 Year Federal Prison Sentence

The Palm Beach Post reported on a Medicare fraud case that resulted in Dr. Isaac Thompson being sentenced to 4 years in federal prison. This sentence was imposed by the court even though the doctor apparently had many patients who thought very highly of him.

How the IRS differentiates between taxpayer fraud and taxpayer negligence

Even though most people haven't thought about their federal income taxes for months and won't do so for at least another six months, memories of their most recent filing are likely still incredibly vivid. Indeed, they may have visions of a not-so-distant past in which they pored over Internal Revenue Service publications, searched online for answers and spent hours filling out their return.

Given the degree of difficulty the average person encounters when completing their tax return -- and the mistakes they potentially make -- its understandable how they might start to feel concerned as to whether they could inadvertently become the subject of an IRS investigation into possible income tax fraud.

Why counterfeit goods are always a priority for the federal government

Those companies that have gone to great lengths to cultivate an image, as well as a reputation for creating highly desirable and durable goods will register their trademark -- i.e., their legally recognized logo and/or name -- with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. By way of example, you needn't look further than the shoes on your feet, the cell phone in your pocket or the shoulder bag sitting under your desk.

The purpose in taking this step is to provide the company with the exclusive right to use the mark, such that customers can readily identify their products in the marketplace and, perhaps more significantly, protect their reputation. Specifically, registering a trademark enables the company to legally prevent other companies from creating products using a similar mark that could cause consumer confusion.

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