Articles Tagged with criminal defense

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Recently, federal prosecutors in Brooklyn brought an indictment against eight individuals – including a medical doctor, three pharmacists, and several members of the doctor’s staff – for their alleged operation of a $24 million oxycodone ring that illegally diverted over 1.2 million pills. Prosecutors are motivated to bring these sorts of criminal charges because of the rapid and terrifying national rise in fatal opioid overdoses. The charges against the defendants include conspiracies to distribute narcotics (21 USC 846 and 841(b)(1)(C)) and money laundering, for concealing and structuring the illegal kickbacks and payments for the narcotics. In short, the defendant doctor is alleged to have written unnecessary prescriptions that were filled by the defendant pharmacists in exchange for illegal kickbacks, and employees of the doctor and pharmacist laundered these illegal proceeds.  Presumably, a cooperating witness revealed the scheme to law enforcement, but that remains unclear.

These charges carry significant potential jail sentences, as well as enormous possible money forfeitures. If it is shown that anyone died as a result of an overdose from one of these illegally distributed pills, then the defendants could easily be facing sentences in excess of ten years or more.

The Law Office of Matthew Galluzzo PLLC has significant experience representing alleged narcotics traffickers in federal court, especially in cases involving opioids and fentanyl. If you or a loved one are a doctor, pharmacist, or other alleged to have participated in an doctor-centered scheme to distribute narcotics, you should strongly consider contacting the Law Office of Matthew Galluzzo PLLC. Their lead counsel has had success representing defendants accused of these crimes and has obtained good results.

 

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On October 24, The Law Office of Matthew Galluzzo PLLC successfully secured the full dismissal of misdemeanor Assault in the Third Degree, Forcible Touching, and Sexual Abuse in the Third Degree charges for a client in Manhattan criminal court. Our client, a holder of an H1B visa, allegedly groped a woman’s buttocks and punched a man in the face in a nightclub in Manhattan. The investigative team at the Law Office of Matthew Galluzzo PLLC performed its own investigation of the incident and presented its findings, which told a very different story. About three months after our client’s arrest, the Manhattan D.A.’s Office moved to dismiss all charges and our client’s arrest record was sealed. He can now move forward with his life – including his anticipated application for American citizenship – without having to worry about this unfortunate incident impeding his future.

If you or a loved one have been arrested and charged with misdemeanor assault or forcible touching in New York City, you should strongly consider contacting the experienced team at the Law Office of Matthew Galluzzo PLLC. Their lead counsel is a former Manhattan prosecutor with considerable experience representing foreign citizens, with a strong track record of success.

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In 2019, to combat the phenomenon known as “revenge porn,” the state of New York added Penal Law Section 245.15 to its list of criminal charges. Specifically, it is now a class A misdemeanor for a person to unlawfully disseminate or publish an intimate image without the consent of the person depicted in the image. This generally prevents an ex-boyfriend from humiliating an ex-girlfriend by using intimate photos taken during the relationship and sharing them with friends or posting them to the internet. So, even though the images might have been freely given during the relationship, a person is not necessarily free to distribute or dispose of those images however they want. Of course, a person could be subject to a civil lawsuit for engaging in “revenge porn” behavior as well. Depending on the circumstances, other charges might also be brought against an alleged “revenge porn” offender, including extortion, aggravated harassment, stalking, or unlawful surveillance.

The criminal charge states:

1. A person is guilty of unlawful dissemination or publication of an intimate image when: (a) with intent to cause harm to the emotional, financial or physical welfare of another person, he or she intentionally disseminates or publishes a still or video image of such other person, who is identifiable from the still or video image itself or from information displayed in connection with the still or video image, without such other person’s consent, which depicts: (i) an unclothed or exposed intimate part of such other person; or (ii) such other person engaging in sexual conduct as defined in subdivision ten of section 130.00 of this chapter with another person; and (b) such still or video image was taken under circumstances when the person depicted had a reasonable expectation that the image would remain private and the actor knew or reasonably should have known the person depicted intended for the still or video image to remain private, regardless of whether the actor was present when the still or video image was taken.

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Today, the prosecutors in the case against Lori Loughlin filed with with the court a signed copy of her plea agreement, thereby indicating that Mr. Loughlin intends to plead guilty in connection with the “Varsity Blues” case involving college admissions fraud. (Her actual plea hearing has been scheduled for tomorrow, May 22, via videoconference). The agreement that she has entered into is somewhat rare in federal court, and has certain advantages for her.

Normally, in federal court, when a defendant chooses to plead guilty, he or she enters into a plea agreement with the prosecutors to establish certain terms and parameters for the sentencing. Plea agreements look like contracts and are usually at least five single-spaced pages long. A defendant acknowledges in the document that he/she is pleading guilty knowingly and voluntarily, and that he/she cannot take back the guilty plea once it has been entered before the court at a plea hearing. The agreements usually set forth the minimum and maximum possible penalties for the charged offenses, so that the defendant can acknowledge that he/she understands them. Also, a defendant agrees to plead guilty to certain charges in the indictment, and admits to certain conduct (for example, an amount of money fraudulently stolen, or a quantity of narcotics trafficked) that impacts the sentencing. Then, the parties to the plea agreement (the prosecutor and the defendant) agree to certain other factors (such as the defendant’s role in the offense, for example) that may establish where on the sentencing chart (for the Federal Sentencing Guidelines) that defendant’s sentence is likely to be. But, the agreements explicitly state that the ultimate decision as to the defendant’s sentence will be up to the sentencing judge to determine, based upon these established facts and parameters within the plea agreement, as well as the judge’s own considerations of the defendant and the defendant’s crime.

Here, in Ms. Loughlin’s case, the sentence has already been established by the agreement. This fact makes the agreement quite unusual for federal court, though hardly unprecedented. Pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11(c)(1)(C), Ms. Loughlin has agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, and in exchange, she will receive a sentence of two months in prison, a fine of $150,000.00, 24 months of supervised release with 100 hours of community service, and a special assessment of $100. The prosecution also will agree to dismiss the remaining charges against Ms. Loughlin and not pursue any further charges in connection with what it knows about this affair.  This all depends, however, upon the court accepting the agreement and Ms. Loughlin’s guilty plea.

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As criminal defense attorneys, we defend people from all walks of life who have been accused of committing a wide variety of crimes. Here, we discuss two of the more embarrassing charges some of our clients face: Public Lewdness (P.L. § 245.00) and Exposure of a Person (P.L. § 245.01).

P.L. § 245.01 – Exposure of a Person

We’ll deal with this one first. Simply put, Exposure of a Person makes it a violation to expose one’s private parts in public. This statute is fairly straight forward enough.

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