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Charges against politician allege embezzlement

A high profile criminal trial is underway in New York, and a state senator is in the center of the swirling charges. Federal charges leveled against the New York state senator are accusing the senator of multiple charges including embezzlement and tampering with a federal investigation.

The senator allegedly embezzled over $400,000 out of escrow accounts that he was in charge of. When foreclosures occur, attorneys are sometimes appointed as referees, and the senator is accused of fraudulently taking advantage of this role with the accounts that he had control over.

High profile defendants can suffer from the media coverage of a criminal trial. It can be difficult to ensure that jury members have no influence from news outlets or public opinion. Though jurists are told to consider only the evidence presented to them in a trial, it is human nature to be influenced by information even if it is not supposed to be included in the relevant facts.

A skilled defense lawyer will be able to assess the circumstances surrounding a high profile case and determine if a change of venue would assist in a fair trial or if there are any issues with the jurists regarding outside influence. A fair trial is essential to a defense case, and the media is skilled at swaying popular opinion.

Whether a defendant is a celebrity, a well-known politician or an average citizen, everyone deserves a fair trial and the opportunity to defend themselves. An experienced lawyer will have the skills to make sure that it happens.

Source: Ledger-Enquirer, "NY pol pleads not guilty in corruption probe," Tom Hays, May 6, 2013

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Nick Lotito & Seth Kirschenbaum

Former Federal Prosecutors

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