Boston White Collar Crimes - Defense Attorney Steven Topazio
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White Collar Crimes

Boston White Collar Crimes – MA White Collar Criminal Defense Attorney


White Collar Crime Defense — Fraud and Corruption

If you have been charged with fraud, mortgage fraud, credit card fraud,  identity theft or implicated with a white collar crime of any kind, contact  the Law offices of Steven J. Topazio to schedule a free confidential consultation.  Attorney Topazio will explore all your options so as to establish an effective defense. Over his 28-year career, Steven J. Topazio has developed techniques especially well suited for representing people accused of fraud, financial crimes or other white collar offenses.

Unlike crimes such as assault, theft or drug trafficking, fraud charges are not typically prosecuted and proved on the basis of eyewitness testimony, physical evidence and police reports. Instead, financial crimes are developed and charged through detailed documentary evidence ranging from bank statements and cancelled checks to loan applications or payroll records.  Attorney Topazio has experienced that fraud cases involve a level of detail and at times encompass such a  sheer mass of data that few prosecutors are particularly comfortable preparing these cases for trial.

Our experience with the investigation and defense of fraud or white collar crime cases shows that your lawyer’s close attention to detail will very often expose gaps in the government’s evidence, resulting in weaknesses that can be used to your advantage at trial so as to obtain an acquittal or in advantageous plea negotiations.

Examples of the kinds of white collar crime cases we handle include the following:

  •      *     Insurance fraud
  •      *     Mortgage fraud
  •      *     Bank fraud
  •      *     Uttering (issuing) forged checks
  •      *     Embezzlement or employee theft
  •      *     Identity Theft
  •      *     Internet Sex Crimes involving child pornography or online solicitation of a minor for sex
  •      *     Money laundering
  •      *     Credit card fraud
  •      *     Computer crimes involving unauthorized access to confidential data

We also represent public officials who face corruption charges such as campaign finance violations, bribery, extortion, or criminal ethical violations in office.

Contact us today for a free confidential consultation. 

Comprehensive Investigation and Case-Building

For additional information about our ability to represent your interests effectively in criminal cases that will be decided on financial data, documentary evidence, and complex paper trails, contact Massachusetts Criminal Defense Lawyer Steven J. Topazio to schedule a free confidential consultation.  

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March 25, 2014

Boston Municipal Court

White Collar Crime

Larceny over $250 M.G.L. c.266 §30A

The client was arrested for larceny at the Dunkin Donut’s store where he worked was represented by Boston Criminal Attorney Steven J. Topazio. According to the police report, the Dunkin Donuts’ manager reported that he discover that his cash register was missing money. According to the manager, he watched a surveillance video and allegedly claimed that he witnessed the client stealing money from register. The client denied he stole anything and maintained his innocence.  The manager gave a copy of this surveillance video to the police.  Attorney Topazio requested a copy of the video so as to prepare for trial but learned that the detective lost the video.  Attorney Topazio pointed out that the loss of the video denied the client the opportunity to obtain potentially exculpatory evidence as the entire event was captured on video. Attorney Topazio filed a Motion to Dismiss the charges due to the loss of the video and argued the loss denied the client his Sixth Amendment right to counsel through the destruction of potentially exculpatory evidence contained in the surveillance video.  Today, Attorney Topazio persuaded the court to allow his motion to dismiss arguing that that the conduct of the Commonwealth was so egregious in losing the video that it prejudiced his client’s defense.

Result: Motion to Dismiss allowed and case dismissed.

January 10, 2013
Chelsea District Court
Docket # 1214CR0990
Application for Criminal Complaint
Clerk’s Hearing
White Collar Crime
Identity Fraud M.G.L. c. 266 § 37E
Threat to Commit Crime M.G.L. c. 275 § 2
Assault & Battery with Dangerous Weapon M.G.L. c. 265 § 15A(b)

The client, a 42 year old bank employee, received an application for criminal complaint accusing her of identify fraud after she opened up a Sears credit card account and charging over $700.00 which charges ended up in the client’s aunt’s name, hired Boston Criminal Attorney Steven J. Topazio to defend her. Massachusetts Criminal Attorney Topazio met with his client and discovered she opened a Sears credit card account so as to take advantage of Sears 10% discount for new card holders. The client provided her name and her identifying information to obtain the card but for unknown reasons, the Sears credit card which was approved was issued in the client’s aunt’s name instead of the client’s name. The client contacted Sears and told them about the discrepancy and was informed that there was an application error and that she would be issued a new Sears card. Despite the error, Sears pursued the aunt for collection. The client informed the aunt of the problem and contacted the collection department to correct the situation with no success. The collection department ignored the client but instructed the aunt to pursue criminal charges against the client for identity fraud. Boston Criminal Attorney Topazio obtained all documentation of the Sears credit card application and subsequent purchase transaction in preparation of the Clerk’s Hearing. Today, Massachusetts Criminal Lawyer Steven J. Topazio presented his evidence to the Clerk Magistrate and despite the unpaid Sears charge and identity mix up, persuaded the Magistrate to dismiss all charges against his client.
Result: Case dismissed.

October 04, 2012
Boston Municipal Court
Docket # 1101CR3777
White Collar Crime
Larceny over $250 M.G.L. c. 266 § 20

The client, a 25 year old high school graduate, was charged with the felony of Larceny over $250.00, was represented by Massachusetts Criminal Lawyer Steven J. Topazio. According to the police report, the alleged victim stated that after her apartment was cleaned by a cleaning company, she noticed that two of her bank checks were missing. The alleged victim also reported that a payment was made on her bank account for the Verizon Wireless account of the client. Through discovery motions, copies of the bank’s records were produced. Attorney Topazio challenged the veracity of the records as lacking the proper evidentiary foundation to be admissible at trial. Today at trial, Attorney Topazio was able to convince the court to dismiss the case against his client.
Result: Case dismissed at trial.

September 17, 2012
Hingham District Court
Docket # 1158CR1860
Conspiracy, M.G.L. c. 274 § 6
Attempt to Commit Crime, M.G.L. c. 274 § 6
Witness Intimidation, M.G.L. c. 268 § 13B

The client, an Asian male form New York, was arrested and charged with conspiracy in violation of MGL c. 274 § 7, attempt to commit a crime in violation of MGL c. 274 § 6, and witness intimidation in violation of MGL c. 268 § 13B after attempting to open a checking account in Citibank in Hingham. Hingham police were provided information from Citibank Security about a group of men who apparently open checking accounts in a false name and deposit approximately a small amount of cash into the account. These men then make a large deposit by check (with insufficient funds or bad check) and then make a withdraw of a large cash amount before the check is returned, leaving the account in the negative. According to the police report, Citibank Security was given a BOLO from Citibank regarding a scam/fraud by an Asian group of males that occurred in other banks, which the police concluded was the client’s intent when he entered the Hingham Citibank. Boston Criminal Attorney Topazio challenged the evidence with a motion to dismiss. Massachusetts Criminal Lawyer Topazio argued that it is not always possible to prove a conspiracy by direct evidence. The law allows a trier of fact, where it seems reasonable, to infer that there was a conspiracy from all of the circumstances. For example, if people who know each other or have been in communication with each other are shown to have been involved in concerted actions which all seem designed to accomplish a specific purpose, then it may be reasonable to conclude that those actions were not coincidental but were taken pursuant to a joint plan. However in this case, Boston Criminal Attorney Topazio argued that nothing was known about his client other than he is Asian and spoke a foreign language when he was in Citibank. The client was arrested because he was in the company of a co-defendant whose picture was allegedly in the BOLO provided to Citibank security which alleged that Asian gang members were defrauding banks. Boston Criminal Defense Lawyer Topazio argued that nothing was known about his client, and that nothing in the police report indicated that the client, who was not in the bank’s security BOLO, was aware of any unlawful objective of anybody when he entered the bank. Despite the facts, the motion was denied and the case was pushed to trial. Multiple motions in limine were drafted in anticipation for trial. Today at trial, Boston Criminal Defense Attorney Topazio was able to persuade the court to dismiss all charges against his client.
Result: Case dismissed at trial.

August 21, 2012
Peabody District Court
Application for Criminal Complaint
Clerk Magistrate Hearing
White Collar Crime
Larceny over $250.00 M.G.L. c. 266 § 30

The client, a 32 year old professional with a part time job with Nordstrom, was caught on camera at Nordstrom taking merchandise without paying for it as well as crediting her credit card account with returns she made but without returning the merchandise. When the client was confronted by loss prevention officers in the presence of police, she admitted to her theft. Despite offering to pay Nordstrom back in full for the items taken which totaled over $4000.00, she was told that she would be pursued both civilly and criminally. Without being able to resolve the matter on her own, the Client hired Boston Criminal Defense Attorney Steven J. Topazio to defend her. Attorney Topazio attempted to negotiate a settlement with Nordstrom but was informed that they were pursuing this matter criminally. The Peabody police filed an application for criminal complaint to be heard by a Clerk Magistrate. The primary role of the magistrate when she hears a complaint is to determine whether probable cause exists to require the accused to answer to a criminal charge. Magistrates, however, may decline to authorize complaints where the law allows the conflict to be fairly resolved in a different manner. In Gordon v. Fay, 382 Mass. 64, 69-70, 413 N.E.2d 1094, 1097-1098 (1980), the Supreme Judicial Court noted that the “implicit purpose of the [G.L. c. 218, §] 35A hearings is to enable the court clerk to screen a variety of minor criminal or potentially criminal matters out of the criminal justice system through a combination of counseling, discussion, or threat of prosecution.” Today, after establishing that the client made full restitution to Nordstrom, Attorney Topazio was able to persuade the Magistrate to dismiss all charges against his client.
Result: Case dismissed.

March 21, 2012
Somerville District Court
Docket # 9410CR0403
White Collar Crime
Default Warrant
Probation Surrender
Credit Card Fraud under $250 M.G.L. c. 266 § 37(b)

The client, an out of state 41 year old PGA golf teaching professional, hired Attorney Topazio to represent him after he was notified by the Department of Motor Vehicles in Washington State that his right to operate a motor vehicle was suspended in that state due a default warrant in Massachusetts. Attorney Topazio investigated the matter and discovered that the client had pled guilty in 1994 and received a 6 month suspended sentence with an order of restitution which his client was now in default on with a warrant for his arrest. Attorney Topazio acquired documentation of the client’s whereabouts and provided same to the court. Today, Attorney Topazio filed a motion requesting that the court waive his client’s presence and to recall the warrant and to restore the case to the court’s calendar, which was granted. As a result of this initial court ruling, Attorney Topazio was provided with a Notice of Warrant Cancellation for his client. Attorney Topazio next pointed out to the court that the restitution order triggered the default warrant because it was never paid but that if restitution was to be made now it would be to a bankrupt corporation. Attorney Topazio argued to convert the restitution order to court costs so as to avoid a probation surrender hearing, and the court agreed. The case was continued pending payment of the court costs in lieu of the client having to return to Massachusetts and face a probation surrender hearing where he could have received a 6 month House of Corrections sentence for violating the terms of his probation.
Result: Warrant recalled and case to be dismissed upon payment of court costs in lieu of client having to return to Massachusetts and facing a probation surrender hearing.

August 25, 2011
East Boston District Court
Magistrate’s Hearing
Application for Criminal Complaint
Larceny over $250 c 266 § 30

The client, a successful business owner and a licensed agent for Braz Transfers, a licensed foreign transmittal agency operating under Massachusetts General Laws chapter 169, was accused of stealing in excess of $47,000.00 when it was discovered that a money bag the client delivered to Braz Transfers contained only $1,300.00 instead of the $47,000.00 due, hired Boston Criminal Defense Attorney Steven J. Topazio to represent him. The client was accused of purportedly receiving in excess of $47,000.00 from various consumers at his business, notifying Braz Transfers of the receipt of said funds and further requesting that Braz Transfers transmit $47,000.00 to foreign customers. When Braz Transfers came to pick up the $47,000.00, it alleged that the client stole the $47,000.00 when he fraudulently remitted only $1,300.00 to Braz Transfers in a money bag containing only one dollar bills. The client, a noncitizen legal resident, was also exposed to the jeopardy of deportation, denial of naturalization or exclusion from admission to the United States for a conviction of a crime such as this one. Under federal law Larceny over $250 is considered a crime of moral turpitude which would subject a legal resident to adverse immigration consequences. Attorney Topazio met with his client and interviewed his employees to evaluate his business’s internal security procedures and to determine if same were followed. Attorney Topazio investigated the business practices and procedures of Braz Transfers and reviewed its money transfer procedures so as to understand where the alleged loss may have occurred. In preparation for hearing, Attorney Topazio lined up a series of witnesses involved with the chain of custody of the money and established that his client, as well as several other employees had access to the monies and that sufficient evidence existed to convince the Magistrate that a three hour window of time existed where Braz Transfers had exclusive access to the money and could be the reason for the loss. Attorney Topazio argued that a crime had not been committed and as a result, was successful in convincing the investigating Boston Police Detectives as well as the Clerk Magistrate that the missing monies amounted to no more than a civil matter that should be pursued in civil court by the complainant instead of criminal court.
Result: Application for criminal complaint dismissed removing threat of adverse immigration consequences.

August 01, 2011
Dorchester District Court
False Motor Vehicle Insurance Claim c 266 § 111B
Attempt to Commit a Crime c 274 § 6

An investigation by the Boston Police Special Investigations Unit and investigators from the Insurance Fraud Bureau found that the defendant reported to his insurance company that while driving his vehicle that an unknown vehicle struck his vehicle and fled, causing over $6,000.00 worth of damage. The investigation found that the suspect did not notify the police of the hit and run. A forensic examination of the defendant’s vehicle found that the vehicle struck a stationary object while in motion. Recovered from the vehicle was creosote/wood material. When confronted with the evidence the defendant gave conflicting statements. The defendant, who abandoned his insurance claim, hired Attorney Topazio to defend him. Attorney Topazio met with the prosecuting attorney in an attempt to dispose of the case without an admission or plea, as an admission to the offence would ruin his client’s career. Attorney Topazio suggested to the Commonwealth that his client was never paid by the insurance company, that he receive a period of pre-trial probation to resolve the case. Pursuant to Massachusetts General laws, chapter 276, section 87, a court may place an individual on probation for such time and upon such conditions as it deems proper, with the defendant’s consent, before trial and before a plea of guilty. Pre trial probation is a mechanism to resolve a criminal case without requiring an admission to sufficient facts or a guilty plea. If successful, the criminal charges will be dismissed outright, thus protecting an individual’s criminal record as well as his reputation. Today, Attorney Topazio persuaded the Assistant District Attorney and the judge to place his client on pre-trial probation for a period of three months on the condition that his client pays a fine.
Result: Client avoids trial and an admission to sufficient facts or guilty plea and his case will be dismissed in three months provided a fine is paid and defendant obeys all state and local laws.

July 14, 2009
Boston Municipal Court
Larceny by Check over $250.00 M.G.L. c. 266, § 37
The defendant, a professional person, was accused of larceny by check and charged. The defendant, who was successful in getting his case remanded to a clerk’s hearing, hired counsel to represent him at the clerk’s hearing, but was unsuccessful in resolving the case and had the charges reissued. The defendant fired his attorney and hired Attorney Topazio. Today, Attorney Topazio worked out a settlement with the complainant and her attorney and had the parties sign an accord and satisfaction. Attorney Topazio further had the Court, with the District Attorney’s consent continue the arraignment to a future date so as to give his client time to pay pursuant to the agreement and to avoid an entry on his client’s board of probation record with the agreement to dismiss the case prior to arraignment if his client pays in full prior to the next court date. An entry on a board of probation record would only be made after arraignment.
Result: Case settled and defendant is not arraigned thus avoiding an entry on his board of probation record and Criminal charges to be dismissed provided payment is made before the next court date.