Dear Clients and Friends of Tim Anderson Law:
This has been a turbulent few weeks, and it will be a while before the uncertainty passes. I wanted to reach out to you and update you on how COVID-19 has impacted my firm, as well as the entire criminal justice system.
My firm has been prepared to weather this storm for some time. As a result, the only change to how we do business is that we now rely on Facetime, Zoom, and other teleconferencing technology to conduct what would normally be face to face meetings. Other than that, our business of advocating zealously for our clients continues unabated, without interruption. We are here to help you, your loved ones, or your friends, should the need arise.
On the other hand, federal and state courts, prosecutors, police officers, and ongoing investigations have been massively disrupted. We are constantly assessing this fluid, rapidly changing situation and monitoring the responses of all levels of government that are tasked with carrying out criminal investigations and prosecutions. We have already seen guidance from various law enforcement agencies instructing their rank and file to exercise discretion and to shift their enforcement priorities.
In the coming days, weeks, and months we expect to see additional guidance from state and federal law enforcement and prosecutors regarding changes to their enforcement priorities, charging decisions, decisions on whether to take a matter to trial, and sentencing recommendations.
All the best,
Tim Anderson, Managing Partner
Tim Anderson Law, LLC
Federal Criminal Defense Lawyers
“To carry out these frauds, Shkreli was all things to all people.” – Government’s Sentencing Memo to the Judge
Martin Shkreli’s sentence of 7 years (84 months) for federal securities fraud was much, much less than his federal sentencing guidelines range of about 27 years to 33 years. The government attorneys argued that he should get at least 15 years, while his attorneys argued for 12 to 18 months. In the end, the judge split the baby and gave him 7 years.
So, although Shkreli’s sentence was well above the 12-18 months his defense team asked for, it was still far below the advisory sentencing guidelines range and less than half of the government’s request of 15 years.
So, how did he do? Was his sentence a fair one?
Being sentenced in federal court is one situation where you do not want to be above-average. According to the U.S. Sentencing Commission, over the past four or five years the average sentence for convictions of securities fraud, like Shkreli’s, has gone from a little over 6 years down to about 4 years. So, Shkreli got an above-average 7 years.
Despite the unique and colorful circumstances surrounding Shkreli (including his wacky pronouncements before and during trial), his attorney, Benjamin Brafman. was smart in his submissions and arguments to the judge, distinguishing his client from other defendants who are convicted of this type of offense. Although not that many federal securities fraud cases are brought across the country, in 2016 alone 14 of those were sentenced in the Eastern District of New York, where Shkreli’s case was handled.
His attorney, Brafman had a lot to work with in arguing to the judge at sentencing, including that Shkreli was a first-time, non-violent offender, and most importantly, that there was no need for restitution to any victims as no one was out any money. Of course, the forfeiture portion of Shkreli’s case got plenty of coverage, especially because an album by the Wu-Tang Clan worth a few million appeared in a federal court filing.
The takeaway is that while Shkreli may have been “all things to all people,” as the prosecutor suggested, while he was committing the acts that led him to being sentenced in federal court, and he may have said a number of outrageous things before and during trial, it appears that the judge in this case concluded he was simply another offender up for sentencing. The judge considered the arguments both for and against Shkreli, applied the law, and seemed to find a good middle ground at 7 years.
As a federal criminal defense lawyer who has stood next to famous (or infamous) clients at sentencing, one thing I always ask for at sentencing is that the judge not single out my client for being in the public eye, or for choosing to take a shot at trial. The judge seems to have appropriately done just that in Shkreli’s case, even though Shkreli and his legal team surely are disappointed in how much time he got.
Defense Team led by Tim Anderson, Esq., Secures Favorable Sentence in High-Profile Hacking Case
Newark, New Jersey – February 21, 2017
A team of federal criminal defense attorneys led by Tim Anderson of Red Bank, New Jersey, concluded its representation last Thursday in New Jersey federal court, of a client charged with identity theft and conspiracy to commit wire fraud in a high-profile hacking case. Federal District Judge Esther Salas sentenced Sergey Vovnenko to 41 months in prison, in a case in which Vovnenko potentially faced over 30 years in prison.
Vovnenko, whom the U.S. Attorney’s Office called “the administrator of two criminal online hacking forums,” was sentenced last week to 41 months in prison for his role in an international cybercrime operation.
Vovnenko’s case began in 2015, when the United States Attorney’s Office of New Jersey extradited him from Italy to New Jersey, to face a six-count federal indictment for his role in an international cybercrime conspiracy, including four counts of aggravated identity theft, one count of unauthorized access of a computer, and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
After Vovnenko arrived in the United States, he retained Tim Anderson and his team to negotiate a favorable plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Months of work and negotiations by defense counsel resulted in the Government agreeing to dismiss four of the six counts against Vovnenko, and with Vovnenko pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1349, and one count of aggravated identity theft, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1028A, which also carried a two-year mandatory minimum prison sentence.
At sentencing, Tim Anderson and his team successfully argued Vovnenko’s case before the Court, and Judge Salas sentenced Vovnenko to 41 months in prison, while also crediting him for the time he spent in jail in Italy awaiting his eventual extradition to the United States.
During sentencing and post-sentencing interviews, Anderson credited Vovnenko with having “changed for the good” and believed that Judge Salas treated Vovnenko “very fairly.”
The defense team was led by attorney Tim Anderson of Red Bank, New Jersey, and included Mr. Anderson’s associate, attorney Daniel Petersen, and Vovnenko’s co-counsel, attorney Eugenie Voitkevich of Woodbridge, New Jersey.
Also, see as reported by CBS News and Law 360
Tim Anderson Law is a boutique criminal defense firm that focuses on federal and state criminal defense, with over 24 years of federal criminal trial experience. Through over 20 years of successful defenses, Tim Anderson has earned an AV® (“Preeminent”) peer-review rating, the highest possible, from the Martindale-Hubbell nation-wide directory of attorneys, for preeminent legal ability and highest ethical standards. Tim Anderson Law has obtained many dismissals, not-guilty verdicts, decisions not to prosecute, substantial downward departures in sentencing, reduced charges, and favorable plea agreements in the Newark, Camden, and Trenton federal courts, as well as in Superior Courts throughout New Jersey. The firm has significant experience and knowledge of the intricacies of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which has led to many outstanding outcomes for its federal clients.
Tim Anderson Law | 225 Broad St. Red Bank, NJ 07701 | (732) 212-2812 | https://timandersonlaw.com | email@example.com
Eugenie A. Voitkevich is a solo practitioner in Woodbridge, New Jersey, who is fluent in Russian and focuses on both civil and criminal litigation.
The Law Office of Eugenie A. Voitkevich | Woodbridge, New Jersey | (732) 407-1047 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org | triallawyernj.com or russianlawyernewjersey.com
One common charge I have fought in past is of phishing. This act is directly tied to identity theft and is considered a type of white collar crime. According to the FBI, phishing costs American taxpayers more than $1 billion annually, which is why prosecuting it has become a top priority. If you’ve been accused of phishing, my experience as a New Jersey computer crimes attorney can help.
What Is Phishing?
Phishing is a type of fraud that occurs whenever a person sends some form of electronic communication, usually an email, to try to gain access to sensitive personal or financial information. Phishing emails often look as though they are coming from an official, reputable site, such as from a bank, credit card company or retail store, when in reality they are just a fake email.
Common Phishing Scenarios
All phishing attacks have one thing in common, and that is they all ask for some type of sensitive information from the person receiving the email. This can be anything from Social Security numbers to account passwords. Phishing emails often claim to be from official representatives, and may contain what seem to be actual company logos. These emails might even threaten coercive action such as the closing of an account if the receiver does not respond within a certain amount of time.
What are the Criminal Elements of Phishing?
To be charged with phishing, you must “knowingly and intentionally” attempt to gain another party’s sensitive information in a fraudulent manner. This happens whenever someone pretends to be someone else in order to gain information that they otherwise would not have access to. This means that if a person sends a mass email pretending to be a bank representative, and asks recipients to provide them with account information, that could be considered phishing.
Acquiring Information Not Required
It’s important to note that you can be charged with phishing, even if you do not successfully obtain any sensitive information. The mere act of sending out fraudulent communications, to include creating a copycat website, is enough to establish probable cause for phishing. Therefore, it is not necessary for another person to respond to your email in order to be charged. Simply intending to garner private data is enough to warrant charges and the need for a New Jersey computer crimes attorney.
Acts That Are Not Phishing
Merely asking others for sensitive information does not necessarily constitute phishing. For example, if you are a retailer who offers lines of credit to your customers, you would not be guilty of phishing if you asked for financial information on a credit application. In this instance, you are not pretending to be someone you are not, and there is also a legitimate need for the information. As such, there wouldn’t be cause to charge you with a crime.
While most phishing scams are perpetrated via email, they can also take place via the Internet. This happens whenever a website is created that closely mimics that of another reputable organization, and is designed to “trick” people into providing sensitive information such as an account number or password. If a person creates, operates, or gathers information from such a website, they could be charged with phishing. As with emails, there is no requirement to actually obtain information. Rather, the act of putting up such a website may be enough to lead to criminal charges and require that you hire an experienced computer crimes attorney.
Federal Phishing Charges
A person can be charged in federal court with phishing, but there is no specific federal statute concerning phishing. Rather, a federal allegation of phishing likely would be charged as identity theft, or else as wire fraud, which occurs whenever fraudulent communications are sent through electronic means, such as by email.
New Jersey State Laws
Like many other states, New Jersey does not have any specific laws pertaining to phishing. Instead, phishing is generally classified under the broader category of identity theft.
Accused of Phishing? Contact a New Jersey Computer Crimes Attorney
If you’ve been accused of phishing, contact a New Jersey computer crimes attorney from The Law Offices of Timothy R. Anderson at 732-212-2812.
This post explains how the investigating grand jury process works in the federal court system, from the point of view of an experienced New Jersey federal criminal defense lawyer,
The Investigating Grand Jury in Federal Cases
This type of grand jury investigates a case to determine whether or not an indictment is warranted. First, an investigating grand jury typically requests and obtains documents through issuing subpoenas. From there, the prosecutor typically follows this process with the investigating grand jury:
- Calls non-essential witnesses or presents their testimony via agents
- Calls immunized cooperators and witnesses
- Goes back to see if previously uncooperative witnesses are now willing to testify
- Finishes presenting their case with an agent who summarizes the investigation and provides information about missing details
This process can take months or even years to unfold, and the investigation doesn’t end just because the grand jury’s term does. The prosecutor may elect to extend the grand jury’s term, or they may have a government agent summarize everything for a new grand jury. When the time comes to make a charging decision, the prosecutor summarizes all documents and testimony to the grand jury. Before the grand jury votes, the prosecutor explains the legal aspects of the charges and how their evidence may satisfy the elements of those charges. The prosecutor asks the jury if there are any questions and then provides them with the completed proposed indictment. Investigating grand juries don’t draft indictments. Rather, they vote up or down on them. A majority vote is enough to return an indictment, and the defense never learns the specific numbers of the vote, just that they indicted or not.
Hire a Skilled New Jersey Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you are facing federal criminal charges, including are being investigated by a federal grand jury, it is crucial to obtain experienced legal representation as soon as possible. You can call me, Tim Anderson at (732) 212-2812 to schedule an appointment to confidentially discuss your matter.