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California congressman indicted for mishandling campaign funds

U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter appeared with his wife in federal court in San Diego for a hearing after a 60-count indictment detailed their alleged misuse of over $250,000 in political campaign funds. Hunter's lawyer requested another status conference because he needed more time to prepare motions prior to a trial. He wanted the judge to excuse the congressman from that hearing, but the judge refused the request.

The congressman, a 41-year-old former Marine, and his 43-year-old wife are expected to answer for charges of falsifying campaign finance reports to the Federal Election Commission, conspiracy and wire fraud. The indictment against them detailed their purported spending of campaign funds on private expenses. From 2009 through 2016, investigators reported that the couple illegally spent the money on family vacations to destinations like Italy. They also apparently dipped into the campaign money for school tuition, golf, dental work and even shots of tequila.

Be very careful when crossing the border with medication

You're on a well-deserved break south of the border with your family. On your way home from the restaurant, you step off the curb and painfully twist an ankle.

It's not broken, but even a mild sprain can considerably damper your vacation enthusiasm. A resort employee directs you to a Mexican doctor's office located next door to a pharmacy where you are able to get a month's worth of strong pain medication that would be almost impossible to obtain for the same injury back in California. It's all good, right?

Representative faces multiple criminal charges

A representative from California has been indicted on charges of wire fraud and conspiracy. He was also indicted on charges that he falsified records and violated campaign finance laws. According to the indictment, campaign funds were used to cover personal expenses such as dental bills that were past due as well as vacations and school lunches. Furthermore, it said that the representative and his wife engaged in a conspiracy to siphon campaign funds for their own personal use.

The congressman gave his wife a credit card to gain access to campaign funds despite the fact that she had no formal role in his campaign. In the indictment against him and his wife, there was evidence that expenses were incorrectly classified to make them seem like legitimate campaign expenses. For instance, clothes that were purchased at a golf pro shop were listed as golf balls for wounded warriors.

California man faces fraud charges for alleged Ponzi scheme

After being arrested out of state, a 70-year-old man formerly of Hillsborough has been scheduled to appear in San Francisco federal court to answer for charges of wire fraud, mail fraud and money laundering. Federal prosecutors claim that he launched a real estate Ponzi scheme in 2010 and used the money collected from investors to pay for personal expenses, buy stocks and sometimes pay investors.

His investors thought that he was buying real estate in the United States and other countries on their behalf. He promised good deals and high returns of 10 percent based on his strategy of buying distressed properties at the scenes of natural disasters. Evidence collected by federal investigators included details about a couple who reportedly sent him more than $380,000, which he then spent on himself.

Man pleads guilty to wire fraud in $6 million ticket scheme

On July 17, it was reported that a 49-year-old California man pleaded guilty to federal wire fraud. He had been accused of using investor money for personal expenses instead of purchasing and reselling tickets for profit.

The man had reportedly been involved in a $6 million scheme where he told investors that he would buy large amounts of tickets to the 2017 Super Bowl and the 2018 World Cup and resell the tickets for a profit. He said that he would then share the profit with the investors. However, he failed to share the profit with the investors after his company was wired the money.

White collar crimes might fall under federal jurisdiction

White collar crimes, which include many types of financial matters, can sometimes fall under federal jurisdiction. There are many different factors that come into the picture when the authorities are determining what entity is going to handle the case.

One point that matters in these cases is what type of crime was committed. Not all white collar crimes are the same. Whether you are facing charges from the state or looking at a federal case, you need to make sure that you understand why you were charged with specific crimes.

QVC executive guilty of wire fraud after 5-year spending spree

The spending habits of consumers in California who buy merchandise from QVC likely cannot compare to the spending spree that recently sent one of the television network's executives to federal prison. The 42-year-old man entered a guilty plea on 11 counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy. On top of a 30-month prison sentence, which was issued July 10, a judge ordered him to restore $832,138.55 to his former employer.

From 2008 until his dismissal in 2013, the former QVC executive used his position as a director at the network to fraudulently maintain a lavish lifestyle, according to federal prosecutors. He created false invoices to obtain payments from his employer. Two other parties -- a public relations firm and a production management company -- supported his fraud by generating fake invoices.

Pine Cove clerk accused of embezzlement

A clerk at a retail store in Pine Cove was arrested in June for allegedly stealing over $100,000 from the business over an eight-month period. Authorities were first alerted to the theft when the proprietors noticed that a large sum of money seemed to be missing.

After examining financial records and other information located at the store, investigators determined that the clerk was the likely source of the missing funds. He was allegedly taking money from the store's till and ATM machine on a regular basis.

Mandatory minimum sentences in federal drug cases are harsh

It is no secret that federal drug charges are very serious matters. You are likely going to face time in the federal prison system if you are convicted. This alone should spur you into action, which means that you need to take a serious look at what options you have for your defense.

Drug charges may come with mandatory minimum sentences on the federal level. While many cases are passed on to the state courts, there are some that are tried by federal prosecutors. Here are some things that you should know about federal drug offenses:

Woman sentenced to four years for embezzling $250,000

On June 5, a California woman was sentenced to four years in state prison for embezzling over $250,000 from her employer. The sentence was handed down by a Sonoma County Superior Court judge.

According to court documents, the defendant worked as a payroll clerk for the Oakmont Management Group LLC from January 2014 until May 2016. During that time, she reportedly used her position to create fake employee payroll profiles and set up fraudulent direct deposit accounts using real employee names. The money was then funneled into pre-paid debit card accounts in her name. Her employer discovered her actions when the new payroll clerk noticed suspicious accounting activity. The company reported her to authorities on Jan. 13, 2017.

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