The covid19 pandemic has created a “crime wave” in Ft. Myers and Cape Coral. Desperate people do desperate things, and sadly, the covid crisis has caused a lot of people to do things they would never have done before.
Many times, it is a minor crime like not scanning everything at Publix, Wallmart or some other store. The temptation is just too great when your family is hurting. Many times, it is writing a bad check, with every intention of making it good later. Many times, it is petit theft (shoplifting) when you think no one is looking. Don’t let a lapse in judgement ruin your life. A good Ft. Myers criminal defense lawyer can make a huge difference. If the cop tells you, “ you don’t need a lawyer”, don’t believe it. An arrest can ruin your employment opportunities in the future. It may keep you from getting a job, getting a license or going to a school.
There are other crimes on the rise. Sales tax fraud is one of them. The reality is that many small businesses are hurting for money and just don’t have the sales tax money they took it and cannot send it to the Department of Revenue. Some small businesses don’t have the payroll tax money they withheld from employees to send to the IRS. That is a serious problem that can land you in jail. You may have meant well and intended to send it in, but instead, did not lay off employees, and paid them the money, in the hope you could keep your business alive, and now just don’t have it.
Payroll Protection Plan fraud cases are coming. For some people, the temptation was just too great and the “free money” was just too appealing.
If you think you may have done something wrong, don’t wait until they are knocking at your door, you need to talk to a good Ft. Myers criminal defense lawyer now. Do not wait until a search warrant is being executed or you are being arrested. If detectives of agents come to your business, remember, you have the right to remain silent. The reality is you absolutely need to Shut up and lawyer up”. Do not turn over your records. Do not try and talk your way out of a problem….it only makes it worse. You have right to a lawyer…Exercise that right.
At our firm, one partner is a former State prosecutor and the other partner is a former IRS special agent and Federal prosecutor and we have a good understanding of how to defend fraud and tax cases. If you think you may have done something wrong, don’t wait until they are knocking at your door. If you didn’t file a return, if you filed a false return, is you did not send in the money you withheld, talk to a good defense lawyer now, not later after you are arrested.