Nick Lotito & Seth Kirschenbaum

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Georgia conviction overturned due to statute of limitations

Some crimes involve mostly force, while others involve a complicated scheme of events and significant planning. Fraud and white collar crimes are generally in the second category. Despite the lack of threat or force involved, however, the penalties for these crimes can be especially severe. Allegations alone can even ruin a person's livelihood. Fortunately, there are many ways that a skilled defense attorney may be able to protect the freedom and reputation of those accused of fraud or other types of white collar theft.

In 2012, a former executive for Glock Inc. was convicted of theft and racketeering for allegedly working with another former executive to clone bank accounts and forge documents in an effort to steal money. The penalty for the conviction was seven years in prison. Recently, however, the Georgia Court of Appeals overturned that convicting, citing the statute of limitations and the state's failure to indict the executive before the statute of limitations tolled.

This case perfectly illustrates one way a seasoned defense attorney can help a defendant facing a criminal charge related to theft or fraud. Whether there is substantial or sparse evidence against someone, a guilty conviction is almost never guaranteed. Allegations of such crimes can be very damaging, however, so it is important to act quickly in preparing a case. In some cases, when the evidence against is a defendant is particularly damning, a plea deal may be a preferable option. In other cases, seeking to exclude incriminating evidence on evidentiary or constitutional grounds or asserting other defenses may be a way to avoid a conviction.

Even when a guilty conviction occurs, this is not the end of the road. An appeal may be successful in overturning a conviction, especially in cases like the one above where a statute of limitations is relevant. Regardless of the specific circumstances, mounting a strong defense in response to accusations of fraud or white collar theft can be the difference between a positive and negative outcome.

Source:, "Georgia appeals court tosses former Glock exec's convictions on theft and racketeering charges," July 9, 2013

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Nick Lotito & Seth Kirschenbaum

Former Federal Prosecutors

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