People in power are often held to a higher standard of ethics, at least in the court of public opinion. They may even be judged more harshly when accused of a crime, particularly a federal offense. No matter how the public feels about a scandal, federal charges often mean more in-depth investigation, more complex procedures and more severe penalties for a conviction.
A local man may be feeling the pressure of public opinion and impending legal matters after his recent arrest for numerous federal crimes allegedly committed during his six years as state attorney in Florida. Investigators believe the prosecutor used his position to bribe defense attorneys and their clients by offering to deal with their cases favorably in exchange for money or other gifts. In one case, the man supposedly withheld a pretrial agreement until a defendant paid him $60,000. Investigators claim another case involved the prosecutor seeking a $20,000 discount on a tractor from a defendant’s business in exchange for a reduction of DUI charges.
The charges he faces
Federal authorities have charged the former state attorney with numerous counts of bribery, fraud and extortion. He also faces conspiracy charges for allegedly working with defense attorneys to extort money from clients. Several defense attorneys are also facing criminal charges related to these events.
The penalties for federal crimes often include mandatory minimums. In cases like these, penalties may involve decades in prison and many thousands in fines. Additionally, those convicted of some federal crimes may forfeit their homes and other assets.