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Raleigh Criminal Law Blog

Federal bribery charges hit North Carolina political figures

Major North Carolina political figures are among four people facing federal bribery and wire fraud charges after prosecutors accused them of attempting to influence regulations to support one donor's insurance firm. They include the chair of the state's Republican Party as well as an investment company founder known for his large contributions to political campaigns. The defendants are charged with bribery, conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud, and making false statements.

According to federal prosecutors, the four people promised to give or actually gave the state's insurance commissioner millions of dollars in campaign contributions. These contributions were aimed to achieve one defendant's business goals, including removing a deputy insurance commissioner overseeing an examination of one of his insurance companies based in Durham. Prosecutors say that the scheme was active between 2017 and 2018. The state insurance commissioner who received the funds reported the scheme and was not charged.

North Carolina man pleads guilty to bribing NCAA athletes

A North Carolina man has pleaded guilty to federal charges alleging that he paid bribes to college athletes in violation of rules established by the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The man is a former North Carolina State University football player who is currently serving an 18-month sentence in federal prison for his involvement in a multi-million dollar Medicaid fraud scam.

According to court documents, the man owned and operated a mental health business that billed Medicaid for millions of dollars worth of fraudulent services which were never performed. They then claim he worked with others to funnel the money generated by the scheme into his sports management agency, where he would then be able to use it to pay college athletes. In addition to wire transfers and cash payments, the court documents also state that he and other individuals provided the athletes and their families with clothing and access to vehicles, entertainment events, and hotel accommodations.

Medicaid fraud case exposes bribery of college athletes

A man already serving a sentence for Medicaid fraud has agreed to a plea deal concerning new charges from federal prosecutors in North Carolina. The plea report named the 41-year-old former N.C. State football player as a conspirator in a scheme to transfer money from his mental health service known as Nature's Reflections to his sports management company Hot Shot Sports. His billing activities at Nature's Reflections led to his conviction for Medicaid fraud.

According to the plea report, the man sent things of value to student athletes or their family members to encourage them to remain clients of Hot Shot Sports and its affiliates. Bribes took the form of clothing, shoes, loans, food, transportation, hotel stays and money. Some of the financial transactions took place via interstate Western Union wire transfers. Bribes varied in value between $50,000 and $75,000 and violated state laws applicable to sports agents and the NCAA.

Prevent long-term consequences from college arrests

No parents like to see their children make a mistake. It is even worse when those mistakes come with injustice or greater consequences from a violation of civil rights. If you believe that a North Carolina stop and search resulted in an unjust arrest for your college-age child, there could be a way to reduce the lifelong consequences of a drug conviction.

Even though college students are young, the law still considers them adults. During the arrest and trial processes, they have the same responsibilities as anyone else over the age of majority. The police could hold them without notifying you. During these detentions, young adults could be responsible for the things they do and say.

How to tell if a loved one is addicted to cocaine

Cocaine is a dangerous and highly addictive drug. It increases levels of attention, alertness and energy. This is due to the drug sending dopamine into the pleasure centers of the brain. This results in an intense high. 

Of course, cocaine is illegal in the U.S., and anyone who uses it may face harsh criminal punishments. It can also result in various health problems. If you have suspicions that someone you know is addicted to cocaine, you may want to help this person legally and offer emotional support. Here are some signs that a loved one is living with a cocaine addiction. 

NC Industrial Commission Penalty Assessments - April 2019 Update

Dysart Willis represents employers that have received penalties from the North Carolina Industrial Commission under NCGS 97-94 for failure to carry workers' compensation insurance. There have been a variety of changes to this area of the law over the past twelve months. The good news for employers is that following significant revisions to the law in July 2018, these changes have generally been positive. In some situations, these changes have provided significant relief to employers from the Industrial Commission's prior aggressive policies

Michael Avenatti arrested after alleged attempt to extort Nike

Michael Avenatti has become a familiar name throughout North Carolina for his representation of an adult entertainment actress in a legal battle with President Donald Trump. The latest headlines about the high-profile lawyer, however, concern his arrest for an alleged attempt to extort close to $20 million from the athletic apparel company Nike. Additionally, a separate federal case involves allegations of wire and bank fraud.

The criminal complaint involving the Nike incident claims that he threatened to embarrass the company by exposing allegations of illegal payments to the families of top high school athletes from Nike employees. Recordings of conversations between Avenatti and Nike executives allegedly reveal his demands for money in exchange for silence. Nike informed federal authorities, who arrested him within days of his initial communications with the company. He has paid a $300,000 bond to get out of jail and has surrendered his passport. Avenatti insists that he will fight to prove his innocence.

Former North Carolina deputy to be sentenced on gun charges

A former North Carolina peace officer will be sentenced June 20 on weapons charges. The sentencing hearing was scheduled after the 33-year-old man, who was employed as a deputy by the Gates County Sheriff's Office when he was taken into custody in December 2017, agreed to plead guilty to two counts of possessing a stolen firearm. According to media reports, the man entered the plea agreement in return for sentencing consideration and the dismissal of a drug possession with the intent to distribute charge.

A federal grand jury issued a raft of indictments against the man in May 2018 after being told by prosecutors that he seized a Glock semi-automatic pistol during a July 2017 traffic stop and failed to turn it in or report it as evidence. The investigation into the man's activities culminated in the search of his Eure home. The Glock and a second stolen gun were allegedly discovered during the search. Prosecutors say the second gun had been stolen several years earlier. The GCSO fired the man soon after learning about the weapons.

Announcing Dysart Willis Houchin & Hubbard, PLLC

Attorneys Christian Dysart and Ryan Willis are pleased to announce Joe Houchin and Meredith Hubbard as new equity members of the firm. To reflect their new ownership positions, the firm's formal name has officially changed to Dysart Willis Houchin & Hubbard, PLLC effective April 1, 2019. This advancement recognizes Mr. Houchin and Ms. Hubbard's contributions to the firm and the outstanding results they have achieved for firm clients over the past years. The attorneys of Dysart Willis will continue to defend clients charged with criminal offenses in state and federal courts in addition to the firm's business, civil, and immigration practices. 

Effective programs for first-time drug or alcohol offenders

The state of North Carolina has some innovative and effective solutions for first-time drug or alcohol offenders that mitigate the types of penalties they normally face.

Penalty deferment is one of the options, and another is the Misdemeanor Diversion Program.

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Our Results

  • Client was charged in federal court with the felony offense of being an illegal alien in possession of a firearm. After negotiation with the US Attorney's Office, the felony gun charge was dismissed and our client...

  • Our client was charged with statutory rape and faced mandatory registration as a sex offender if convicted. We were able to work with a forensic expert and the district attorney's office to negotiate a guilty plea..

  • Client charged with Felony Assault on a Police Officer, misdemeanor assault, and resisting an officer. After a jury trial where multiple police officers testified about the incident, our client was found not guilty ..

  • Client investigated by federal law enforcement for possessing child pornography. Ryan began representing the client during the investigation and ultimately the client was not charged with any crimes...

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