An employee at the California Department of Motor Vehicles has been accused of using allegedly used driver’s license records to conduct an elaborate identity theft scheme.
DMV Employee Accused of Identity Theft
DMV employee Sarah Laray Sandoval, 39, has been accused of stealing personal information such as driver’s names, dates of birth and addresses, among other information and using the information to open bank accounts, including a $3,250 as well as $15,000 line of credit at Wells Fargo Bank.
According to records, Sandoval began her scheme in Dec. 2016. She has been charged with 18 counts, including bank fraud and identity theft.
Why Are They Called “White Collar Crimes”?
As opposed to crimes such as murder and criminal damage to property, white collar crimes are typically financial or computer crimes committed in a business or professional environment that do not result in any physical harm to a person. This does not mean that these crimes are not serious, however: white collar crimes can ruin individuals and businesses, causing millions of dollars in damage. Some victims of white collar crime never recover: retirement accounts or savings are depleted or the business is bankrupt and must close its doors.
Unlike some crimes that are only prosecuted by state or local governments, white collar crimes can be prosecuted by the federal government as well. To defend against charges of white collar crime, you need a criminal defense attorney who has handled these type of cases. Attorney Ulises A. Ferragut, Jr. of the Ferragut Law Firm is able to represent clients in both state and federal prosecutions. Mr. Ferragut has two decades of experience in white collar crime representation. Contact the Ferragut Law Firm for help with your white collar crime defense.
Common White Collar Crimes
Regardless of the victim or the specific type of white collar crime, all crimes of this nature are inherently complex and technical. You will need an attorney who is very familiar with the various types of white collar crimes and the evidence that the prosecution will use to prove their case in order to prepare and present a winning defense.
Common white collar crimes include:
- Computer/internet crimes: Using an electronic device like a home computer or an ATM to carry out a fraudulent transaction is considered a white collar crime. Even accessing a computer without the owner’s permission can be punished as a misdemeanor. “Hacking,” or more serious schemes involving a computer device or the internet, can be punished as felonies.
- Identity theft: When you use the personal identifying information of another – another person’s birth date, name, social security number – or hold yourself out to be someone you are not, you have committed identity theft. Because of the complications and difficulties victims of identity theft can experience, identity theft and related crimes are typically felony offenses punishable by incarceration in a state prison and significant fines.
- Insider Trading: Simply put, insider trading occurs when a person obtains knowledge about a company that the public does not know and then uses that information to buy or sell stock. A person can be held responsible for insider trading even if he or she simply passes the pertinent information on to another person who actually does trade. In either event, insider trading is typically prosecuted by the federal government.
Winning a White Collar Crime Case
Defending a person charged with a white collar crime is no easy task. It is not enough to simply say that you did not do what the government accuses you of doing. An experienced white collar crime defense attorney will usually begin with a careful evaluation of the reports and affidavits of the investigating officer. White collar crimes tend to require proof of specific factual elements, and a defense attorney will know how to consider and refute the proof the government intends to offer. Where appropriate, the defense may retain the services of experts in accounting, computers, or other fields to offer an alternative opinion to those of the government’s experts.
Additional Drug Crime Charges
While these women are being accused of money laundering, they could also face drug crime charges. Being accused of committing a drug crime is a very serious matter. With all the “law speak” that gets thrown around in these cases, it’s often hard for a person to fully understand the allegations they might be facing. That’s why it’s always advised that you work with a criminal defense lawyer if you have been accused of a drug crime.
Guilty of a Drug Crime?
Here are some of the most common drug-related crimes that are charged and prosecuted in Arizona include:
- Possession of illegal drugs: Being found in possession of illegal drugs can include possessing any quantity of marijuana, narcotics such as cocaine and heroin, and/or possessing dangerous drugs like methamphetamine, ecstasy and clonazepam. In the case of marijuana, your sentence can depend on the quantity of drugs.
- Possession of drug paraphernalia: Drug paraphernalia includes items used to store, ingest, conceal, or perform other actions with drugs. Common types of paraphernalia include pipes, bongs, syringes, baggies, and scales. Penalties for possession of drug paraphernalia are increased where the paraphernalia is used to manufacture, cultivate, and/or distribute a drug (such as a scale and lamps used to grow marijuana).
- Distribution of illegal drugs: Distribution of drugs can describe not only the sale of drugs but any other transfer of drugs from one person to another. If you share marijuana with a friend, for example, you have “distributed” drugs. Monetary compensation is not necessary to sustain a conviction for drug distribution. Additional penalties can be imposed if you are found to be distributing a drug in a school zone.
- Prescription-drug offenses: Common criminal acts relating to prescription drugs include possessing or using a drug that is only available by prescription if you do not have a valid prescription for it and can include using or possessing another person’s prescription drug.
- Using communication facilities to arrange a drug transaction: It is a criminal act to use a communication device (most commonly a telephone or cellular telephone) to assist you in arranging a drug-related transaction. Sending a text message to another person indicating where to meet to exchange drugs is one of the most common way in which these laws are violated.
Ferragut Law Firm Will Defend You
Ferragut Law Firm is a top rated criminal defense law firm based in Phoenix Arizona. We are dedicated exclusively to the practice of criminal law in all state, federal, and city courts throughout the State of Arizona.
Ulises A. Ferragut, Jr. and the Ferragut Law Firm have represented clients in several high profile cases and have been relied on as an authoritative commentator on legal matters both locally and nationally. Mr. Ferragut is licensed in state and federal courts and he possesses the knowledge and tenacity necessary to fight for clients accused of committing a white collar crime.
Our mission is to achieve the best possible results for our clients through hard work, attention to detail, and aggressive advocacy, while maintaining the highest level of professionalism, integrity, and ethical standards.
We are committed to providing the most aggressive, professional, and effective representation for our clients accused of crimes to ensure that their legal rights are protected and that the best possible results are achieved. Contact us to discuss the details of your case.
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2 North Central Avenue, Suite #1125
Phoenix, Arizona 85004