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Oklahoma City Criminal Defense Blog

The motivation behind finance workers and white-collar crimes

Working in the finance industry offers many employees the opportunity to accelerate their talent and position within a company. However, more and more employees have testified before court in defense of white-collar crimes that they felt coerced to participate in due to the business structure enforced.

Not only does the lure of greed lead many workers to perform tasks in ways that will dishonestly increase their wealth. But too often sales incentives are designed that unintentionally encourage workers to justify their means by the promise of rewards put in place by the incentives.

Can I gift a gun to someone?

In Oklahoma you can gift someone a gun in most situations. However, if you gift a gun in the wrong situation, you could be committing a felony. This is why it is important to understand the laws surrounding the transaction.

Recipient must be able to legally own a gun

The criteria for committing mail fraud

If a person sells a counterfeit good or obtains property or money under false pretenses, those acts are referred to as fraud. If a person uses the mail system to commit those acts, he or she will likely be charged with mail fraud. It doesn't matter whether a message was sent through the United States Postal Service or through another carrier. Sending evidence of fraud to another party by mail could also be considered mail fraud.

Individuals such as Charles Ponzi and Bernie Madoff have been convicted of mail fraud. Ponzi was ultimately convicted in 1920 of one count and was sentenced to five years in prison. Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison after obtaining $65 billion illegally from individuals throughout the country. The penalty for mail fraud is 20 years in prison in addition to a fine.

Are crime rates rising in Oklahoma?

In a recently released report by the FBI, Oklahoma criminal offenses seem to be on the rise. Violent crime went from 3,800 incidents to 4,500 incidents in just one year.

Aggravated assaults have slowly increased over the past few years. Local law enforcement isn’t sure if there truly is a rise in crime or simply a rise in reported crime. Investigators believe that victims may have started to feel more empowered to report the assault in recent years.

Oklahoma pharmacist pleads guilty to health care fraud

An Oklahoma pharmacist faces up to 20 years in a federal prison and a $500,000 fine after pleading guilty to two counts of felony health care fraud. The 37-year-old man was indicted by a federal grand jury in March for filing false Medicare and Medicaid claims, and Oklahoma prosecutors announced in April that he had been charged with 40 counts of insurance fraud. The man's guilty pleas were entered as part of a negotiated agreement with prosecutors.

The man is said to have made almost $1.1 million by billing Medicare, Medicaid and Oklahoma City-based SoonerCare for medicine that had never been prescribed by a physician for patients. The terms of his plea agreement require him to forfeit real estate in Greer County and pay restitution of $753,000 to Medicare and $338,000 to Medicaid. If he had been convicted at trial, the man could have been sentenced to 10 years in prison and ordered to pay a $250,000 fine for each of the 40 counts he faced.

Oklahoma narcotics supervisor sentenced for stealing drugs

A 48-year-old Oklahoma man has been sentenced to six months of imprisonment to be followed by six months of home detention for acquiring illegal narcotics through deception and tampering/destroying evidence. The man will be placed on supervised release for two years after he is released from federal custody and completes his home detention. Prosecutors say that the man took advantage of his position as a Mayes County Sheriff's Office narcotics supervisor to obtain methamphetamine to support his drug habit. Reports of the sentence were published on August 3.

The sentence was part of a plea agreement the man entered into with federal prosecutors in April. The man's activities came to light in 2018 when authorities began to investigate missing Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation evidence. When the man's home was searched, agents allegedly discovered methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia and evidence submittal envelopes.

Drug investigation leads to 21 arrests

The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics has reported that 21 individuals have been taken into custody following a multi-agency narcotics investigation. During the investigation, which began in November 2018, the bureau worked with the U.S. Marshals Service, the Lawton Police Department and the District Attorneys Council District III and District IV task forces. The investigation was launched after authorities received information about a methamphetamine distribution organization operating in Lawton, Oklahoma, and Wichita Falls, Texas.

Investigators focused their efforts on a 41-year-old man who is alleged to have regularly transported shipments of methamphetamine weighing between 2 and 10 pounds. When he was taken into custody on July 3 for concealing stolen property, police allegedly found 4 ounces of methamphetamine and a handgun in his Lawton hotel room. He is currently being held at the Comanche County Detention Center. His bond has been set at $1 million according to media reports.

Police find $160,000 drug stash in Oklahoma home

On July 2, authorities busted a large drug distribution operation running out of a Stillwater home. It was reportedly one of the largest drug busts ever conducted in the city.

According to the Stillwater Police Department, the bust was initiated when officers spotted a man with a known drug history leaving a residence on the 3000 block of S. West Street, and police executed a traffic stop for a moving violation. During the stop, officers searched the vehicle and allegedly found more than 2,000 hits of LSD. They arrested the driver and used the drug evidence to obtain a search warrant for the residence. During a search of the home, officers uncovered a huge stash of drugs worth an estimated $160,000. As a result, the occupant of the home, a 25-year-old man, was taken into custody.

Debates return about mandatory minimum sentences

Oklahoma and federal mandatory minimum sentences have returned to headlines in recent weeks.

An Oklahoma bill banning life-without-parole sentences for juvenile defendants failed in the state senate earlier this year. Nationally, former Vice President Biden has been criticized for his previous support of mandatory minimum sentencing laws. Also, new Supreme Court Justice Gorsuch recently surprised many by siding with four more liberal justices to strike down a similar Texas statute.

Man pleads guilty to federal drug and gun charges

Federal prosecutors in Oklahoma have reported that a 29-year-old man has admitted to transporting significant quantities of methamphetamine and heroin across the U.S.-Mexico border. The Mexican national entered guilty pleas to narcotics and weapons charges in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma on July 1.

The man was apprehended in December 2018 following an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Tulsa Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The operation was coordinated by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force. When they searched the man's apartment and rented storage space, officers and agents allegedly discovered two pounds of heroin, 17 pounds of methamphetamine and a number of firearms.

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