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Federal Crimes Archives

Federal crimes like identity fraud can come with steep penalties

Getting caught up in a difficult predicament could happen unexpectedly. It may come as a shock to some California residents to learn that they are under investigation for federal crimes, and they may understandably worry about what that could mean for their future. If a person learns that authorities suspect him or her of identity fraud, it may be a smart move to start considering legal options.

Woman gets jail and a fine for federal crimes in admissions case

Certain California legal cases generate substantial publicity and involve people who are well-known or wealthy. Often, these cases are white collar. They can warrant extensive penalties. Such is the case with the ongoing college admissions scandal. One person involved is an heir to a significant fortune and has received a prison sentence and hefty fine.

Tests used at trial may be less than reliable

Judges in California and throughout the United States may be allowing less than reputable scientific data to be used in their courtrooms. The results of IQ and other tests could be used to determine whether a person is competent to stand trial or is competent to raise a child. In some cases, potentially unreliable tests might be used to decide if a person should get the death penalty.

21-year-old Nintendo Switch hacker pleads guilty

Nintendo Switch fans in California may be interested to hear about a hacker who pleaded guilty to computer fraud with the popular video game system. The 21-year-old is believed to have gained access to Nintendo Switch developer information with a phishing scam in 2016. He also pleaded guilty to child pornography charges.

Woman faces 20 years in prison for filing false tax returns

A 42-year-old woman has admitted to stealing mail to obtain confidential information and then using that information to file fraudulent tax returns. The woman entered guilty pleas to single counts of mail theft, wire fraud and filing a false claim in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on Jan. 9. She was indicted by a federal grand jury in April 2016 on 14 counts of filing false claims, three counts of aggravated identity theft and three counts of wire fraud.

Federal employee sentenced for fraud

On Jan. 6, a Social Security Administration employee received a 15-month federal prison sentence for fraud. The 36-year-old California woman was accused of stealing $176,015 in Social Security payments while she had access to the beneficiaries' computer records. She was taken into custody in September 2019 and pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud the next month.

California man admits to student loan fraud scheme

A California man who ran three financial services companies that offered to help borrowers to reduce their student loan obligations has pleaded guilty to money laundering and wire fraud. The 42-year-old Sonoma County resident faces up to 20 years in a federal prison on each count when he is sentenced. The guilty pleas were announced on Dec. 20.

US representative pleads guilty to corruption

A California congressman from the U.S. House of Representatives is planning to plead guilty to misusing campaign funds. Despite previously denying the charges and saying that he was the victim of a witch hunt by the opposing party, California Rep. Duncan Hunter has reversed course and prepared himself for receiving a sentence. In a statement to the press, he stated that he wants to spare his three children from a trial and avoid the publicity that comes with the process.

Parent sentenced in college admissions case

A California man who admitted to federal prosecutors that he paid a college admissions consultant $400,000 and a university official $50,000 to secure his two children places at the University of Southern California will spend six months behind bars. The former insurance executive learned of his fate during a sentencing hearing held in a Massachusetts district court on Nov. 11. His sentence is the harshest yet handed down to parents connected to a major college admissions scandal.

New animal cruelty felony laws coming out of Congress

Many people in California treat their pets like members of the family, and federal lawmakers have taken action to strengthen federal laws against animal cruelty. The passage of the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act in the U.S. House of Representatives addressed the criminality of interstate commerce when it contributes to acts of animal cruelty. The U.S. Senate has a similar bill in the works, and final legislation could head to the White House for the president's signature.

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