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Gretna ‘sovereign citizen’ convicted of mail fraud

A former maritime industry worker, Melvin Lewis II, was convicted Tuesday in federal court for 30 counts of mail fraud. Lewis considers himself a “sovereign citizen”,  and as such believes the government has no legal jurisdiction over individuals.

He sent several letters to co-workers, police officers, municipal employees and a state district judge, demanding millions of dollars for arbitrary reasons such as speaking his name without his permission. He also filed for liens on the property of some of his victims in order to receive payments. The 53-year-old man was convicted after a one-day bench trial before U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier. Lewis could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each of his offences. Lewis’ fraudulent behavior began in 2013 after he was supposedly promised a promotion at Dynamic Industries Inc. but didn’t receive one.

If you have been charged with fraud, you should contact one of the Baton Rouge mail fraud defense attorneys at Cazayoux Ewing Law Firm. Call us at (225) 650-7400 to begin preparing a comprehensive legal strategy for your defense.

2 former attorney aids accused of funds appropriation

Attorney Michael S. Fawer of Covington recently filed suit against two of his former staffers due to suspected theft and fraud.

According to the May 3 lawsuit, defendants Hailey Lawton and Regina Lawton allegedly stole funds from their boss. The complaint revealed that Fawer became aware of Regina Lawton taking funds from his account without his permission. She was also suspected of padding her paychecks and issuing checks to Hailey Lawton for unearned hours of work. Regina Lawton was also suspected of transferring Fawer’s funds to her personal account, the suit alleged. Fawer is expecting to recover all of his losses, including legal costs, from the two defendants.

Facing fraud allegations can be a frustrating situation, especially if you are being threatened with prolonged imprisonment and hefty fines. However, working with a skilled attorney can ensure that your rights are protected through every step of litigation. Find out how an attorney at the Cazayoux Ewing Law Firm may tirelessly work for you in Baton Rouge by calling (225) 650-7400.

Court renders important decision defining corruption

A recent article in The Washington Post details the alarming process by which prosecutors and court officials redefined a legal term in order to penalize a politician for engaging in previously non-criminal activities normally associated with politics.

Robert F. McDonnell, former governor of Virginia, has been sentenced to two years in prison after a court found him guilty of accepting gifts from one Richmond businessman in exchange for political favors and acts. While the Supreme Court has officially defined an “official act” of a government official as “the actual exercise of government power,” prosecutors submitted a new definition that considers “official acts” to be any type of “behavior that could have some attenuated connection to a potential government decision later.”

This new definition was held up by an appellate court and endorsed by the judge presiding over McDonnell’s trial, who told jury members to consider the new definition when making their decision.

As was pointed out by the author of the Post piece as well as briefs written by “31 current governors; 60 former state attorneys general (six from Virginia filed their own); 13 former federal officials, including two former U.S. attorneys general and former legal counsels to every president starting with Ronald Reagan; and three law professors, from Harvard University and the University of Virginia,” the steps taken in this trial represent massive contortion of “the understanding of quid pro quo corruption.”

Personal care service workers arrested for defrauding Medicaid program

Three direct care service workers were arrested and charged with Medicaid fraud as a result of an investigation conducted by the Louisiana Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.

Quenitta Butts, 39, and Kaisha Pitre, 26, were both charged with multiple counts of Medicaid fraud after allegedly defrauding the state’s Medicaid program by submitting falsified time sheets to receive payments. Christopher Jenkins, 33, was arrested in a separate incident and charged with one count of Medicaid fraud after allegedly submitting two separate service logs that indicate he was providing services to two different patients in two different locations at the same time.

Being charged with Medicaid fraud can wreak havoc not just on your career, but on your personal life as well. To know more about fighting for your rights and liberty after being charged with Medicaid fraud in Baton Rouge, our team of criminal defense attorneys at Cazayoux Ewing Law Firm is willing to fight on your behalf. Call us at (225) 650-7400 and tell us more about your situation.

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