St. Mary's County prosecutors obtained a no contest plea from a man accused of running an illegal casino. The 56-year-old Calvert County man allegedly ran a gambling house in Charlotte Hall. It was apparently associated with a legitimate charity, but none of the money earned was ever transferred to the charity. The man's criminal defense team suggested that the money was retained to pay losses and employees, but did not challenge the accusations of illegal conduct.
As a result of the plea, the man was given a one-year suspended jail sentence. In addition, he agreed to forfeit $20,000 in funds seized from the casino and serve three years on unsupervised probation. The forfeited funds will be given to a good cause, as an Upper Marlboro Horse rehabilitation program is set to receive the money.
The result of this criminal prosecution highlights an issue that is often forgotten when it comes to criminal cases. The government can and will seize assets if you are suspected of a crime. Given the U.S. justice system's property rights priority, however, the seizure of such assets must meet strict guidelines.
Therefore, those threatened with the forfeiture of their assets are encouraged to contact a local Upper Marlboro criminal defense attorney. These experts may be able to help the accused avoid some of the costs and expenses associated with a criminal prosecution. Moreover, attorneys can help those charged with crimes work asset seizures and retribution costs into a plea negotiation.
Criminal penalties are not limited to just jail time and probation. Penalties can and do affect people's pocket books. As a result, the accused needs to take steps to guard his or her property from seizure.
Source: Southern Maryland Newspapers Online, "Plea accepted for running Charlotte Hall gambling casino," John Wharton, Mar. 19, 2014