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White collar crimes such as fraud, embezzlement and theft are some of the most common offenses in Florida, and account for more than half of non-drug related offenses. In 2019 there were close to 400,000 frauds and thefts reported in the state with a total value of well than $1 billion. Jewelry, cell phones, clothing and motor vehicles are the most common stolen tangible property items involved in theft and fraud cases, but money is usually the property. In response to the massive number of frauds and theft crimes committed in Florida law enforcement agencies have established sophisticated measures to track down missing currency and property, which leads to thousands of arrests each year for white collar crimes. While the police do occasionally find their suspect and recover the stolen currency and property, many defendants are overcharged or wrongfully charged in the first place. If you have been arrested or are being investigated for any white-collar crime including fraud in Florida never talk to the police without consulting with an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Benjamin Herbst is a South Florida lawyer who specializes in defending clients charged with fraud in the tri-county area and the Treasure Coast jurisdictions of Martin and St. Lucie County. He has successfully defended hundreds of clients facing charges in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County and is standing by to fight for you. Benjamin is available to meet anytime at his Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach offices, and can also travel from Miami to Port St. Lucie to meet in person. Call to speak with Benjamin today at 954-543-0305.
Benjamin is an experienced South Florida fraud lawyer who defends clients in charges such as credit card fraud and identity theft. He has the knowledge and skill to dissect the state’s evidence in complex cases such as mortgage fraud, insurance fraud and unemployment compensation fraud. He also defends clients accused of securing financial gains based on false statements or under false pretenses and federal white-collar crimes such as defrauding the United States, failure to file tax returns and money laundering. Benjamin has represented employees from various government agencies, federal government contractors, active military and licensed professionals in white-collar cases. He will not settle for a plea agreement that threatens the careers of his clients, and will not back down from a jury trial if that is the best decision. Fraud cases often involve large amounts of discovery, and it is essential to hire a criminal lawyer who has the patience to meticulously review the State’s evidence for inaccuracies. The difference between a dismissal and a guilty verdict in a white-collar criminal case can come down to one single document out of a thousand, so a lawyer cannot afford to miss anything. Anyone charged with fraud has the odds stacked against them, but retaining an experienced South Florida criminal defense lawyer like Benjamin Herbst can help even the odds. Contact Benjamin today to learn what defenses may be available in your case.
Under Florida law theft crimes often accompany fraud charges, and can range from a second-degree misdemeanor for a first-time offender charged with petit theft (shoplifting) all the way to a first-degree felony. The key fact is the value of the goods stolen, but sometimes there are specific types of property that are protected with enhanced penalties. For example, theft of firearms, controlled substances and motor vehicles are felonies regardless of value. Generally speaking, the key number is $750, as that is what separates a misdemeanor theft from felony grand theft. The majority of theft cases are less are at or near this threshold, as most portable electronics devices such as cell phones, iPads and laptops are worth more than a couple hundred dollars but less than $1,000. An experienced lawyer should be able to fight to have the prosecutor dismiss any fraud and theft charges and reduce theft charges to misdemeanors if the value is close to the felony threshold. Benjamin has done numerous times when the evidence was too strong to risk going to trial. He has also fought to reduce or dismiss more serious grand theft, fraud and embezzlement charges where the amount alleged was well over $100,000. He makes the state prove every last penny they say was stolen, and is well prepared to fight the case at trial if the evidence is inadequate. Benjamin has successfully defended juveniles, as well as managers, employees, book keepers and professionals. He is also experienced defending cases originating from pawn shop sales and attempted theft using fraudulent credit cards. He has won numerous trials for felony dealing in stolen property and credit card offenses. Benjamin understands that a theft conviction must be avoided at all costs, and does whatever it takes to protect his client’s futures.