False Statements

False Statements

Most people think of perjury only occurring in a courtroom. But in reality, making false statements to law enforcement officials, sabotaging investigations by withholding information and lying on official documents are also considered perjury and are punishable by law.

False statements sometimes happen by accident on documents such as tax returns or loan applications. Other times, when an individual is giving oral testimony, it can be difficult to recall events accurately and clearly. These lapses in memory may be wrongfully considered to be lies by local and federal agencies and can lead to prosecution.

When is Best Time to Act?

An individual involved in a False Statement investigation needs to speak with white collar criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to protect their reputation and freedom. Contact our experienced NY criminal defense attorneys today at 844-227-1981.
Types of False Statements Charges:

Charges typically include providing false oral statements to federal investigators or filling out fraudulent and false applications for federal grant money, relief assistance or other federal funding.
Criminal Schemes Related to False Statements:

Some of the criminal schemes include providing false information on a tax return, federal grant or relief assistance. Additionally, making false oral statements to federal investigators can also be prosecuted as it is a crime to knowingly provide false information within the jurisdiction of an investigating federal agency.

Crimes Related To False Statements:

Related crimes include false writing that contains any materially false, fictitious or fraudulent statements or use of false documents.
Regulations/Legislation:

Title 18 U.S.C. § 1001 is commonly used in most any federal criminal investigation involving fraudulent activity.
Penalties/Punishment for False Statements:

While every False Statement case has different allegations, it is extremely important to understand that a prosecution under this code section can be somewhat harsh if the dollar amounts involved are large.  The more money is involved, the greater the potential sentencing under the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the greater exposure to possible incarceration.
Successful Defenses:

To win a conviction, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that an individual knowingly and willingly lied or left out information.

Differences between State & Federal Charges

Title 18 U.S.C. § 1001 is the used by U.S. Attorney’s Offices to prosecute cases where money was allegedly gained through providing false statements. Cases are heard in NY federal courts.

High Profile/ Govt. cases of False Statements

In a press release on May 5, 2014 from the Department of Justice, Northern District of New York, “Richard S. Hartunian, United States Attorney for the Northern District of New York, announced today that Mark Anselm, 37, of Clayton, N.Y., was sentenced to seven years in prison before the U.S. District Judge Glen T. Suddaby after having pled guilty to six felony offenses that charged him with making false statements to officials of the United States Coast Guard, possession and use of an altered merchant marine license, and aggravated identity theft. In addition, Anselm was sentenced to three years of supervised release following his release from prison.”

Contact Us:

If you are facing False Statements criminal charges, a government investigation or some other enterprise corruption violation, you need a white collar defense attorney who can get you the best results. The Blanch Law Firm has been fighting for our clients’ freedom and reputation for years. Contact our expert criminal defense attorney team today by calling 844-227-1981.

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Prenups/Marital Agreements & Cohabitation Agreements in Texas

Prenups/Marital Agreements & Cohabitation Agreements in Texas

Texas Prenup Agreements

Texas law allows couples intending to marry to create an agreement that characterizes their property as separate or community. That agreement is known as a premarital agreement, prenuptials or “prenups” are the most well-known and accepted marital agreements. A premarital agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties.

While not the most romantic gesture, premarital agreements can serve a great purpose in a relationship. A premarital agreement will serve to outline who keeps what, it can also be used to set boundaries around many other specific agreements in a marriage such as control of property during the marriage and penalties for infidelity. Considering that about half of marriages in Texas end up in divorce, it’s a smart step to have some form of marital agreement in place to protect both persons in a marriage.

The family law attorneys at Hammerle, Finley & Scroggins have written hundreds of Texas marital agreements for people in a high net worth marriage. Our Argyle area attorneys can assess your situation and determine if a marital agreement would be appropriate for your unique situation. Call us today at 972-200-3756 to schedule a free consultation.

Texas Cohabitation Agreement

Common law marriages are recognized in the State of Texas. If you have been living with your partner for a certain number of years, you may be entitled to part of his or her property or assets. Many couple chose to live together rather than marriage for a variety of reasons. A cohabitation agreement will clarify any financial arrangements or other commitments in the relationship. Having a cohabitation agreement can also reduce financial loss on top of the emotional trauma after a breakup.

The cohabitation agreement needs to state that both parties agree that they are not married and that it has been entered into voluntarily. A cohabitation agreement can offer asset protection for the partner that has significantly higher net worth or makes significantly more money than his or her partner. Without a cohabitation agreement, couples that live together could risk that their relationship being considered a common law marriage. Should this happen, the wealthier partner could lose considerable assets and property.

Similar to premarital agreements, cohabitation agreements covers couples who want to avoid costly litigation and clarify other wishes upfront. This is especially important for the party who has a greater income or has entered the relationship with pre-existing wealth.

Our Argyle family law attorneys can help you create a cohabitation agreement that will reduce your risk of loss and will be upheld in the Texas courts.

Benefits of Cohabitation Agreements

Some of the benefits of a cohabitation agreement are that it disavows a common law marriage and lists certain expectations agreed by both partners. They can include a monthly shopping budget, scheduled time commitments or date nights and clarification of finances during the relationship.

Having a clear understanding of expectations in a relationship may help keep a couple focused on their relationship versus constantly going over these issues. And if you marry your partner, your cohabitation agreement can be used as a prenuptial agreement and its terms brought in accordingly.

When creating a cohabitation agreement, always choose your own attorney to represent you so that your desires are heard, your rights are protected and that the agreement is ruled as fair to both persons. This will improve the odds that the cohabitation agreement will hold up in a Texas court. Contact us today to represent you and protect your property and assets.

Learn More about Texas Cohabitation Agreements for Same-Sex Couples

While the State of Texas only recognizes a marriage between a man and a woman, same-sex couples can enter into cohabitation agreements in Texas. Like a prenuptial agreement, cohabitation agreements can help in the division of property if the couple decides to separate.

Same-sex couples who choose to live together and who have valuable assets or property, should learn more about the process of cohabitation agreements. We can explain how cohabitation agreements work for same-sex couples and the steps necessary to help ensure the cohabitation agreement is enforceable in the Texas courts.

Call us with your questions about premarital agreement laws at 972-200-3756. We have helped clients in Denton County, City of Allen, Plano, Highland Village and Frisco. We look forward to providing you with expert legal advice regarding a premarital or cohabitation agreement.

Texas Elder Care, Estate Planning and Wills & Trusts

Texas Elder Care, Estate Planning and Wills & Trusts

Compassionate Frisco Attorneys

As people live longer, they have shifted their views for long term planning to include for their long term health care and finances. Estate planning has become an important issue for many individuals and families living in Frisco and in other communities in Texas.

For over 25 years, Hammerle, Finley & Scroggins has provided answers and help to our clients with questions about elder care, estate planning and wills or trusts. Contact our expert elder care attorneys with your estate planning questions. We will work hard to help you protect your assets today and plans for the future.

Guardianship in Texas

Guardianship may serve as an effective and often necessary means to protect a family member and his or her property and assets. A guardian is a person appointed by a Texas court to care for a person incapacitated person due to disease, injury or other disabilities and to protect from abuse or exploitation. It is very common for one person is chosen to be the guardian who will act on behalf of both the person and their property.

There are situations when alternate methods to guardianship are available. A consultation with one of our elder law attorneys will help you make appropriate decisions for you and your loved ones. Contact us today.

Life Care Management

Caring for loved ones with a long-term illness or disability can be overwhelming and can lead a person to question their decisions regarding medical care for their elderly loved ones. Our elder law attorneys can help families get the best health care for their loved ones from providers and resources.

Estate Planning

Estate planning is no longer only for the rich and powerful. Even a person with a modest estate can protect their assets with proper estate planning. Proper estate planning can help avoid infighting and confusion within a family after a loved one has passed on. Our estate attorneys can provide comprehensive estate planning services individuals or families interested in creating wills and trusts in the Frisco area and throughout Texas.

Powers of Attorney

A power of attorney is a written document that lets you appoint a trusted person, or even an organization, to act on your behalf. It can be used as a method to protect you and your loved ones. Depending on your particular situation, powers of attorney can be broad, limited, general or durable.

 

Wills

Having a valid Texas will can make it easier for the distribution of your estate for your family and loved ones, designate an executor to handle your estate in probate and to choose a guardian for your minor children. Currently the State of Texas recognizes three basic types of wills:

  • Attested Will
  • Formal Will
  • Holographic Will

The laws for Texas wills cover your spouse, your children and other loved ones. We can discuss the different features of each will and which will provide the most significant benefit for you and your family. Schedule a free consultation with one of our estate attorneys to start planning your estate.

Trusts

A trust is an arrangement under which one person, called a trustee, holds legal title to property for another person, called a beneficiary. The types of trusts available in Texas include:

  • Revocable Trusts
  • Irrevocable Trusts
  • Special Needs Trusts

Hammerle, Finley & Scroggins provides professional legal consultation on establishing trusts to ensure the protection of your assets for long term life care planning and for taking care of your family and loved ones.

Probate

In some cases the process of probate can take several months to a few years. Being named as the administrator or executor of an estate can be overwhelming and full of many pitfalls. Proper legal advice is necessary to help you expedite the probate process, avoid costly errors and protect the estate from lawsuits. Schedule a meeting today with our Frisco probate attorneys to discuss your probate case.

Medicaid and Asset Protection

With proper planning, there are steps you can follow to legally gift your assets to loved ones to qualify for Medicaid benefits and avoid tax consequences. Contact us today for more information.

If you have questions about with elder care law, please call us at 972-200-3756 for a consultation. We have helped clients in Allen, Fairview, Frisco, Highland Village, McKinney, Argyle, Coppell and Flower Mound. We look forward to providing you with expert legal advice to protect your assets and property.

Frisco has a variety of family oriented events such as Concerts by the Creek. You can enjoy free concerts starting April 4 and on first Fridays and every Saturday through October 25. Performances are from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. Concert goers can bring blankets allowed but are asked to leave lawn chairs and coolers at home. Get more info at http://visitallentexas.com/Calendar.aspx?EID=601&day=1&calType=0

Texas Business Lawyers in Argyle

Texas Business Lawyers in Argyle

Business Knowledge, Legal Experience

Experienced Legal Advocates for your Business

Whether you are dealing with a contract dispute, business restructuring or any other business law matter, the business lawyers at Hammerle, Finley & Scroggins are committed to working with our clients to ensure that their legal needs are fully satisfied and their business continue to be profitable. We have the resources and experience to represent diverse business clients, from local small business to international Fortune 500 corporations. We have helped thousands of people reach their business goals.

Our business law attorneys have more than 25 years experience in handling business law and health law transaction matters. We serve clients in the Argyle area and nearby communities in Texas. For over two decades, our clients have received help with the following questions:

  • What are the legal issues in starting a business?
  • How is a corporate structure formed?
  • How should I write a shareholder agreement that will protect

both the corporation and its shareholders?

  • What should you proactively address during a merger or acquisition?
  • How do I respond to an OSHA citation and/or litigation?

Serving your legal needs is our primary goal at Hammerle, Finley & Scroggins. Contact us to discuss your business concerns and goals. We take the time to understand the challenges you may be facing with your business and will help you reach your goals.

Call us today at 972-200-3756 or fill out our online form.

Business Formation and Contracts

Starting a business in Texas requires many decisions. The first step is to decide which business structure to adopt. Our Texas business lawyers help Argyle business owners choose the right path for success.  When you need business contracts drafted or reviewed, our business savvy attorneys know how to troubleshoot, optimize, and strategize at the drafting stage to mitigate risk.  We will revise contracts that may have not been initially drafted in your best interest, safeguarding your rights and obligations. Schedule a consultation to learn more on how our legal services can help your business.

Buying or Selling a Business in Texas

We can help the buying or selling a business in the State of Texas.  Our business law firm provides complete representation for both buyers and sellers. We can assist in every step of the process, from the negotiation phase through the due diligence process and closing the transaction.  Contact our business attorneys to learn of alternatives for a purchase or sale of a business in Texas.

General Counsel Services in Argyle, Texas

Hammerle, Finley & Scroggins offers general counsel services to a variety of business, from the individual owners to the mid-sized organizations across Argyle and throughout the State of Texas.  Our business law attorneys can assist organizations that have ongoing legal needs but do not need a full-time lawyer on their staff.

Business Law Litigation

Litigation is sometimes needed to fight for or defend your rights as a business owner.  Even with the best intentions by a business owner, not every situation can reach a mutual agreement. While legal battles should be avoided by a business, litigation is one of the ways a business owner can protect his business. Contact us today to get more information about your rights as a business owner in Texas. Our business law attorneys also have handled cases involving:

Construction law

Real estate law

Employment law

Administrative law

Buyouts and dissolution

Business restructuring

Mergers and acquisitions

Buy/sell agreements

Non-compete agreements

Shareholder agreements/member agreements

Business confidentiality agreements

Corporate control agreements

Employment agreements

OSHA Law

Commercial transactions

Commercial real estate

Mineral rights interests

Business Law Experience You Can Rely On

As legal business professionals, we understand the challenges many businesses face; we face them every day ourselves. We also understand what it takes to manage risks and become a successful business. Our success has lead to repeat clients who come back to us and refer us to other businesses. Our clients know we are committed to finding the best solutions for their business goals.

Contact us to go over your short-term and long-term goals. We assist clients in Allen, Denton County, Frisco, Plano, McKinney, Argyle, Coppell and Flower Mound.

Every successful business venture starts with a solid plan. Call us today at 972-200-3756 to help you get started with your business goals. An online form is also available for your convenience.

 

Sobriety Checkpoints in Virginia: Are they legal?

What is a sobriety checkpoint in the State of Virginia?

Sobriety checkpoints are designed to help law enforcement identify drunk drivers. The U.S. Supreme Court has specified that DUI checkpoints are designed to protect and deter drivers from drinking and driving.

To make sure officers don’t use checkpoints only to apprehend offenders, federal DUI guidelines require law enforcement to announce the date and location of any planned roadblock to the public. As a result, drivers can often find out the date and location of roadblocks scheduled in your area. Most sobriety checkpoints are set up 9 p.m. – 2 a.m. on weekends and holidays. Sobriety checkpoints are typically set up in areas near bars and other locations where alcohol is served. 

Law enforcement officers are also required to provide a valid reason for setting up a DUI checkpoint. For example, valid reasons can include a high number of drunk driving arrests or drunk driving accidents in a particular area. There must also be a specific plan regarding which vehicles will be stopped during the roadblock (every other car, every fourth vehicle, etc.) and any change must be recorded.

It’s best to avoid sobriety checkpoints, but this may not always be possible. Therefore, it’s important to know the DUI guidelines that law enforcement officers must follow. This can make all the difference in appealing your arrest and fight to get your case dismissed in court.  

Are sobriety checkpoints legal in the State of Virginia?

Sobriety stops are legal under federal law, officers must follow a set number of DUI checkpoint rules and guidelines before a roadblock can legally be put in place. Sobriety checkpoints in the State of Virginia are legal but certain rules must be followed:

  • An important rule is that, before a Virginia sobriety checkpoint can be established, the location of the checkpoint must be announced to the general public.
  • Another important rule about sobriety checkpoints in Virginia is that the police cannot stop every car. Instead, vehicles must be stopped according to a mathematical formula such as every third vehicle, etc. Vehicles are not stopped according to how the motorist appears or according to how they drive.
  • Additionally, there are rules about how long each motorist may be detained at a Virginia sobriety checkpoint. As a result of these rules, an officer cannot ask you to step out of the car unless they suspect impairment.

It is important to note that if you do show signs of impairment at a Virginia sobriety checkpoint, such as glassy eyes, slurred speech, or the smell of alcohol on your breath, a police officer may detain you and administer a roadside sobriety test. In this case, the officer can detain and proceed as though you were pulled over under the suspicion of a Virginia DUI.

Typical field sobriety tests in the State of Virginia include walk in a straight line, touch each finger, one after the other, to thumb, count backwards or recite or sing the alphabet.

If you have been stopped at a sobriety checkpoint and charged with a Virginia DUI, you should consult with an experienced Virginia DUI defense attorney who can go over the specifics of your case and explain your legal options for fighting the DUI charges against you.

Corporate Criminal Liability

Corporate Criminal Liability is the liability imposed upon a corporation for any criminal act done by any natural person. This liability is imposed to regulate the acts of a corporation. Any corporation can be made liable for act of its agent if an individual commits a crime, acts within the scope of employment with the intent to benefit the corporation.

Additionally, the responsible corporate officer (RCO) doctrine holds that a corporate officer is indirectly liable for a subordinate’s criminal conduct when the officer is in charge. The corporate officer is subject to prosecution if he has the authority and the ability to stop the offense but fails to act. It is important to note that the RCO doctrine does not require proof that the officer either participated in or authorized the crime.

When is Best Time to Act?:

 

Corporate Criminal Liability that can lead to an indictment can be lengthy, so it is important to seek legal advice from experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as you become aware that you could potentially be subject of the investigation and/or are under threat of indictment. Contact our experienced NY criminal defense attorneys today at 844-227-1981.

Types of Charges:

 

Corporate Criminal Liability may encompass a number of charges such Grand Larceny, Falsifying Business Records, Fraud and Money Laundering.

 

Corporate Criminal Liability schemes:

 

Corporate Criminal Liability schemes range from acts committed by individuals involved in, but not limited to fraud, having their employees work under exceptionally dangerous and illegal conditions, doctoring business ledgers and making false statements.

Crimes Related To Corporate Criminal Liability:

 

Crimes that can be related to, but not limited to, are Tax Evasion, False Statements and Scheme to Defraud.

Regulations/Legislation:

 

There are various local and federal laws in place designed to protect the public against corporate crime. Dependent on the corporate crime, both the local and/or federal government can prosecute. Contact our NT white collar defense attorneys to discuss your specific concerns or questions about corporate crime charges.

 

Penalties/Punishment for Corporate Criminal Liability:

Some of the collateral consequences of corporate criminal activity include:

  • Revocation of the corporate charter by state authorities.
  • Civil penalties under the False Claims Act.
  • Securities brokers can also face cease and desist orders and injunctions regarding their participation in securities transactions.
  • A federal contract can also be suspended based on modest evidence of fraud or theft.

Successful Defense to “Corporate Criminal Liability”

 

It can be helpful (in reducing liability) if the employee committed a corporate crime outside his/her authority or company policy.

 

Differences between State & Federal Charges

 

These crimes are not merely prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office, but state and local offices such as the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office aggressively pursues these cases and crimes. Both agencies can charge an individual or corporation for Corporate Criminal Liability.

High Profile/ Govt. cases of Corporate Criminal Liability

On April 30, 2014 Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., announced the conviction of STRUCTURE TONE, INC. (STI), a Manhattan-based company, for falsifying purchase orders with the intent to defraud their construction management clients. The company was charged with and pleaded guilty to Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree and will forfeit $55 million.

The New York County District Attorney website also added, “Interiors construction is a multi-billion dollar industry in New York City and is vital to our city’s economy,” said District Attorney Vance. “Structure Tone’s felony plea and forfeiture of $55 million – one of the largest forfeitures ever imposed on a construction company – sends a clear message that this type of criminal activity will not be tolerated.”

Contact Us:

 

If you are facing Corporate Criminal Liability charges, a government investigation or some other enterprise corruption violation, you need a white collar defense attorney who can get you the best results. The Blanch Law Firm has aggressively fought for our clients’ freedom for years. Contact our expert criminal defense attorney team today by calling 844-227-1981.

 

 

Corporate Internal Investigations

Corporate Internal Investigations may involve crimes committed either by a business entity or corporation. A corporate crime can also be committed by individuals that may be recognized as being part of the corporation. A corporate crime is the act of its staff and not necessarily be authorized or ratified by its officials but rather that the officials were exercising customary powers on behalf of the corporation.

Attorney-client communications are also handled in a specific manner to avoid further problems for an individual and corporations involved in a Corporate Internal Investigation.

When is Best Time to Act?:

When an individual or corporation is involved in a Corporate Internal Investigation it is important to seek legal advice from experienced white collar criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. A civil litigation is sometimes a source of information for the government and can put the company on the government’s radar. Contact our experienced NY criminal defense attorneys today at 844-227-1981.
Types of Charges:

Corporate Internal Investigations may encompass a number of charges such money laundering and fraud.

 Criminal Schemes:

Corporate Internal Investigation schemes range from acts committed by individuals involved in money laundering, fraud, antitrust and securities improprieties, international trade and breaches of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, government contracts, health care and environmental crimes.
Crimes Related To Corporate Internal Investigations:

Some of the crimes that can be related to Corporate Internal Investigations are, but not limited to, money laundering, bribery, corruption and cybercrime.

Regulations/Legislation

In 1909, the United States Supreme Court overruled the common law doctrine of corporate criminal immunity with its landmark decision in New York Central & Hudson Railroad Co. v. United States. Due to this ruling, a corporation may be held liable for the illegal acts of its agents or employees if such acts are committed (1) within the scope of employment, and (2) with an intent to benefit the corporation. These are only some of the laws that require the company to affirmatively conduct an investigation and, if appropriate, make a disclosure:

  • The Sarbanes Oxley Act
  • Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) Guidelines
  • Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Guidance Regarding Credit for Extraordinary Cooperation (Notice 08-07) and Sanctions Guidelines
  • The Federal and state False Claims Acts
  • The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)
  • Federal and state Equal Employment Opportunity laws
  • Wage and hour statutes.

Penalties/Punishment for Corporate Internal Investigations:

The penalties and punishment for individuals and corporations found to be guilty of white collar crimes can be substantial. They can include imprisonment, sanctions, loss of professional license and heavy fines awarded to whistleblowers.

Successful Defense to Corporate Internal Investigations:

There are various defenses available to violations that may be discovered in a Corporate Internal Investigation. They are dependent on the alleged violations and actions by an individual during the Corporate Internal Investigation.
Differences between State & Federal Charges:

Corporations are subject to civil enforcement and criminal prosecution under a wide array of federal and state laws, including the Sherman Antitrust Act, the Federal False Claims Act, the Wire and Mail Fraud Acts, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and securities, environmental and employment laws.

High Profile/ Govt. cases of Corporate Internal Investigations:

Reported on the IRS website, “On Feb. 27, 2014, in Boise, Idaho, Elaine Martin, of Meridian, Idaho, the former president and majority stockholder of MarCon, Inc., was sentenced to 84 months in prison, three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $98,825 in restitution to the IRS and $32,575 to the Idaho Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program. Martin was convicted by a federal jury on Sept. 19, 2013, on 22 criminal counts, including filing false individual and corporate tax returns, conspiracy to defraud the United States, wire fraud, mail fraud, false statement, interstate transportation of property taken by fraud, conspiracy to obstruct justice and obstruction of justice.”

Contact Us:

If you are facing a Corporate Internal Investigation, a government investigation or some other enterprise corruption violation, you need to speak with a white collar defense attorney who can explain what to expect and will aggressively defend you to get the best possible result. The Blanch Law Firm has been fighting for our clients’ freedom for years. Contact our expert New York criminal defense attorneys today by calling 844-227-1981.