Alleged mob members to present criminal defense at trial
A Pennsylvania man accused of participating in mob-related crimes will be presenting his criminal defense in a long-awaited trial. The man has been indicted on 25 counts, according to the 107-page indictment that was handed down from a federal grand jury. The man, age 47, was sentenced to a 33-month prison term in May 2010 in connection with an illegal betting organization. Now, the man will likely be enduring a six-month trial before resolution in the criminal matter. The man and several of his colleagues are accused of mail fraud, wire fraud and a variety of other charges in connection with an alleged business-looting operation. Official reports show that the allegations stem from activities that started as early as 2007, when the man and his partner took over FirstPlus Financial, a Texas-based financial services group. That company’s board of directors were dismissed and then replaced by other defendants, who are accused of bilking shareholders of more than $12 million. Authorities allege that the team worked together to purchase overvalued straw companies. They then took massive amounts of money from FirstPlus to pay for falsified consulting agreements. The stolen money, which initially looked legitimate on paper, was used to purchase extravagances such as jewelry, cars and even a plane. Defense and prosecution representatives must pore over some 8,500 recorded conversations, along with tens of millions of electronic files and at least one million paper documents. Four defendants in the case have pleaded guilty so far, including a 30-year-old attorney and the main defendant’s wife. Those individuals have admitted to creating false tax returns, among other crimes. The man faces prison term from 30 years to life if he is convicted. Another defendant who is facing similar charges could also receive that sentence. In such massive criminal proceedings, only qualified criminal defense attorneys can provide the support that defendants need to support their case. This situation is a prime example of the type of case that calls for a skilled team of lawyers, especially considering the incredible amount of evidence. These attorneys can ensure that the defendants get a fair trial, even though they have a reputation as mob participants.