February 14, 2012

Seltzer Law, P.A., Announces New Client Websites and Television Appearances

First of all, I’m proud to announce that Seltzer Law, P.A., has launched four new, redesigned websites that we believe will better serve our clients. At cybercrimesdefense.com, clients and potential clients can learn about our work representing people accused of sex crimes and crimes involving technology and the Internet. At miamidrugdefenselawyer.com, we talk all about drug crimes and their defense, with a focus on South Florida. At miamifederaldefenselawyer.com, we offer information and legal services for clients accused of a federal crime, which includes many online crimes as well as serious offenses likely to be federally charged, such as money laundering or white-collar offenses. Finally, at seltzerlaw.com, I discuss all types of criminal defense law, including topics covered on the other websites as well as others unique to that site.

Second, I’d like to share the appearances I made this past Friday, Feb. 10, on TruTV’s InSession, to discuss the retrial of Jason Young. Young, of North Carolina, is accused of beating his pregnant wife to death. In fact, he has been tried for that crime and acquitted; he is being tried a second time. In my appearance, broken here into two videos, I discuss potential motives and the forensic evidence the prosecution has. As a criminal defense lawyer, I expressed concern that there’s essentially nothing new here and the prosecution should not expect a different result.

I was also fortunate enough to appear on InSesson on Friday, Feb. 10 to discuss the trial of Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State coach accused of molesting children. I spoke for a few moments, from my perspective as an experienced criminal defense attorney, on whether it makes sense for Sandusky’s defense to keep the trial in State College, Penn., or move it elsewhere in Pennsylvania.

Continue reading "Seltzer Law, P.A., Announces New Client Websites and Television Appearances" »

October 12, 2011

Florida Prosecutions for Mortgage Fraud May Rise as Lenders Scrutinize Failed Loans

As a Florida mortgage fraud defense attorney, I was interested to read about a dramatic spike in reports of suspected mortgage fraud. The Palm Beach Post reported Oct. 3 that the number of reports from lenders to law enforcement rose by 88 percent over the same quarter of 2010. Florida was the state with the second highest number of reports; among the top ten counties were Palm Beach (sixth), Broward (eighth) and Miami-Dade (ninth). These are reports of mortgages the lender suspects may be fraudulent; law enforcement may not investigate or arrest everyone implicated. However, a mortgage fraud investigator and convicted former mortgage fraud perpetrator told the Post that law enforcement would very likely

According to the article, most of the reports are about mortgages written between 2006 and 2008, at the height of the housing bubble. Banks are reviewing these older mortgages because they are under pressure from investors in mortgage-backed securities to buy back fraudulent or sub-standard mortgages. Bank of America, for example, bought back $2.87 billion worth of bad mortgages last year from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Once a lender finds a suspicious loan, it reports it directly to law enforcement, including the Treasury Department agency that issued the statistics. Michael Sichenzia, who spent time in prison for mortgage fraud and now investigates suspect mortgages, told the newspaper that the reports were “like gravy” for police officers in charge of finding fraud schemes. He also noted that Florida is likely to continue ranking high, because of the large amount of building and inflation of home prices during the boom.

As a Miami mortgage fraud defense lawyer, I strongly agree that Florida is likely to see a high number of prosecutions. In fact, we have already seen several mortgage fraud cases in the media this fall, including one announced last month that involves 20 south Florida residents all up and down the mortgage chain. Mortgage fraud is more than just lies on a mortgage application; it frequently involves dishonest appraisers, mortgage brokers, real estate agents and even bank loan officers. Usually, these schemes focus on borrowing the large amount of money required to buy a home and never repaying it, sticking the bank with a huge loss. Of course, these practices also end up costing money for federal insurers and driving down property values for neighbors guilty of no wrongdoing. With stagnant home prices still blamed on the housing crash, I expect to see more of these prosecutions in my work as a Fort Lauderdale mortgage fraud defense attorney.

Continue reading "Florida Prosecutions for Mortgage Fraud May Rise as Lenders Scrutinize Failed Loans" »

July 19, 2011

Defense Lawyer David Seltzer Discusses Casey Anthony Lawsuits on Geraldo

The fallout from the Casey Anthony case continues, and I was asked once again to appear on Geraldo Rivera's Fox News show to discuss it from my perspective as a Miami criminal defense attorney. Among the legal issues we discussed are the lawsuit against Anthony by Zenaida Gonzalez, an Orlando woman who claims she was fired and harassed after Anthony told police that a nanny with the same name had abducted her daughter. We later discovered that this statement was fiction. I told Geraldo and his audience that I don't believe Gonzalez has a defamation case against Anthony, since Anthony never intended to name a specific person.

We also discussed the possibility of penalties against Anthony's Florida criminal defense lawyer, Jose Baez, for withholding information. If Baez did have any information not known to investigators, criminal charges or professional discipline would still not be inevitable, because communications between attorneys and clients are privileged under the law. That means anything said to me in my capacity as a cyber crime criminal defense lawyer would enjoy more protections than a communication between friends -- so that I can do my job effectively.

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July 12, 2011

Defense Attorney David Seltzer Appears on Geraldo to Discuss Casey Anthony Verdict

During Casey Anthony's murder trial, I was asked to appear on Geraldo to discuss the charges and the progress of the trial from my perspective as a Florida criminal defense lawyer. After the verdict, I had the honor of appearing again on the show to discuss the understandably emotional reaction to Anthony's acquittal. In the first part of my appearance, I repeated what I wrote last week and have told several media outlets: the jury acquitted Anthony because the prosecution did not have the evidence to prove capital murder beyond a reasonable doubt. Geraldo later asked my opinion about the science behind the bad smell in the car, and I told him truthfully that a bad smell is a subjective measure open to a lot of interpretation, unlike something like a DNA match.

Finally, Geraldo asked what I think of the "Caylee's Law" proposals now heading for state legislatures. I believe some of these laws will inevitably pass, but I also believe they're unnecessary. Casey Anthony, and perhaps others who would be charged under this law, could have been charged for child endangerment or child abuse. In fact, I believe Anthony could have been convicted and sentenced to more time in prison under this kind of charge. But because the prosecutors went straight for capital murder, a charge they couldn't support with adequate evidence, Anthony is free as of this week.

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June 28, 2011

Cyber Crime Defense Attorney Appears on Headline News to Discuss Casey Anthony Trial

At the beginning of this month, I had the privilege of appearing on Fox News to discuss the legal aspects of the Casey Anthony murder trial, which is making headlines in Florida and across the nation. I'm proud to say that I appeared on CNN's Headline News again today to discuss the trial. Joseph Jordan, a witness who helped search for the body of Caylee Anthony, attracted attention by invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination when he was asked whether he'd ever been threatened with felony prosecution. I told HLN that Jordan likely didn't realize that the question was benign, since "felony prosecution" is a pretty scary phrase in itself. In general, witnesses asked a yes or no question like this typically don't have to worry about their rights -- but when in doubt, I always, always recommend getting the advice of an experienced defense lawyer.

June 27, 2011

Cyber Crime Defense Attorney to Appear on Radio Tonight

I'm proud to announce that I will appear on the radio tonight to discuss the results of a weeklong "sex sting" that ended with the arrests of 25 people in Pensacola. As this article says, law enforcement officers posed as minors online to lure the suspects into meeting them at a house in Pensacola, presumably for sex. I will be on Pensacola's NewsRadio 1620, on Pensacola Right Now with Branden Rathert, which airs from 4 to 7 p.m., to discuss the charges, methods and possible defenses from my perspective as a solicitation of a minor defense lawyer.

If you or someone you care about is facing this kind of charge, you should talk to Seltzer Law, P.A. right away to see how we can help. You can reach us anytime -- 24 hours a day and every day of the week -- at 1-888-THE-DEFENSE (1-888-843-3333) or send us an email.

June 1, 2011

Cyber Crime Defense Attorney Talks About Casey Anthony Trial on Geraldo

I had the honor recently of appearing on Geraldo Rivera's show on Fox News. The subject was the Casey Anthony trial, which is major news in Florida and across the United States. Anthony is accused of killing her little girl and trying to cover it up, and Geraldo asked me to comment on the case from the perspective of a Florida criminal defense attorney. Among other things, I discussed the effects of allegations that Casey Anthony herself was sexually abused, which could change the way the jury reacts to her story.

May 23, 2011

Cyber Crime Defense Lawyer Tapped for SC Magazine Piece on White House Cybersecurity Proposal

I've been on television several times in the last few months to share my perspective as a cyber crime criminal defense attorney on high-profile criminal cases. Now, I'm proud to say I was also asked to comment in print on the President's recent proposal to replace the 47 state laws on cybersecurity breaches with one federal law. SC magazine, which serves IT professionals, ran the piece May 13, just a day after the White House released its legislative proposal. As I told the magazine, I like the idea in theory, because it could eliminate confusion for businesses that collect consumers' data -- but I'd prefer that the government not dictate exactly how companies operate.

Experience in technology and its intersection with the law can make a big difference when you're charged with an Internet or technology crime. To get an experienced cyber crime defense lawyer on your side, call Seltzer Law, P.A. today at 1-888-THE-DEFENSE (1-888-843-3333) or send us a message online.

May 16, 2011

Cyber Crime Attorney on Fox and Friends to Discuss Michaels Debit Card Theft

I was invited recently to be a guest on yesterday’s Fox and Friends, the morning talk show on Fox News. The topic was a recent discovery of a security breach at the Michaels chain of craft stores, in which thieves took money from bank accounts connected to debit cards customers used at the store. They asked my opinion as a cyber crime defense attorney, and one thing I was able to say is that vigilance is very important for bank customers who use debit or credit cards. I also discussed the advantages of using a credit card instead, since the much longer pay period gives you a chance to dispute fraudulent charges.

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April 21, 2011

Two More TV Appearances by Cyber Crime Attorney David Seltzer

I'm pleased to announce that on April 16, I was asked to appear on the morning talk show Fox and Friends to give my opinion as a cyber crime criminal defense attorney. The show produced a segment on a small controversy that erupted after the mother of a six-year-old girl videotaped the TSA patting the child down at an airport. Some people feel that it was inappropriate because of the girl's age, which they thought made it less likely that she would be carrying a weapon, as well as the pat-down's resemblance to child molestation. On the show, I argued that TSA procedures have to apply to everyone, since exempting some groups could raise the risk that terrorists would then use those groups to get weapons on airplanes. I also raised Fourth Amendment objections to alternative search procedures proposed by the other guest.

My other recent appearance was a repeat appearance on RT America's "The Big Picture" with host Thom Hartmann. This show was about the Obama administration's recent call for private industry to create a secure online ID system that would allow online consumers to use the same identification across multiple websites. The administration hopes to eliminate the need for multiple IDs and passwords as well as reduce identity theft, but Hartmann questioned whether it could actually compromise security. I told him I thought it had potential, but could create a large risk of loss and identity theft -- because when the accounts are compromised, every piece of information connected to them could be lost or stolen. These are issues that could eventually affect my practice as a cyber crime criminal defense lawyer.

If you're accused of a crime involving technology or the Internet and you need the help of someone who understands the law as well as the technology, you should call Seltzer Law, P.A. For a free consultation, you can call us 24 hours a day and seven days a week at 1-888-THE-DEFENSE (1-888-843-3333) or send us an email.

April 19, 2011

Criminal Defense Attorney David Seltzer Appears on TruTV Twice

I'm proud to announce that I've been asked to appear on TruTV (the network formerly known as Court TV) twice in recent weeks. In my first appearance, I was asked for my opinion as a Florida criminal defense attorney on the defense strategy for Casey Anthony. Anthony is the young mother from the Orlando area who is accused of killing her toddler daughter, Caylee Anthony, in one of last year's most widely covered criminal cases.

The second appearance is an update to my previous TruTV appearance, on the subject of James Ray, who is being tried in Arizona for three deaths at a sweat lodge ceremony. I discuss the fact that the case has been continued (delayed), the possible effects on the jury and apparent withholding of evidence by the prosecution.

March 29, 2011

Cyber crime defense lawyer on RT America's The Big Picture

I'm happy to say that I've appeared on RT America's The Big Picture again to discuss cyber crime issues. This time, I was asked to contribute a cyber crime attorney's perspective on the new .xxx domain, which was authorized last Friday as a domain specifically for the pornography industry. The move was opposed by the pornography industry, which feels that an all-pornography domain will be easier to block. In fact, the government of India has already announced plans to block it. I argued that this is a good thing for parents who want to block their children's access to pornography online -- but they need to know how to use the technology to do so.

March 15, 2011

Criminal Defense Attorney David Seltzer on TruTV

I'm pleased to say that I appeared on TruTV (formerly known as Court TV) March 13 to talk about the case of Arizona v. Ray from my perspective as a criminal defense attorney. James Ray is the self-help author and guru who is currently being tried for manslaughter in the deaths of three people in a sweat lodge in Arizona during a "Spiritual Warrior" retreat. TruTV asked me to give my opinion on the chances of the prosecution (which, as I say in the video, seems unlikely to succeed) as well as comment on related civil litigation.

December 13, 2010

Seltzer Law, P.A. Represents Client Robbed of Diamond Ring Outside Target

I’m pleased to announce that I appear on the WSVN evening news tonight, Dec. 13, to further a criminal investigation and offer a reward on behalf of a client. As Channel 7’s website is already reporting, my client, Helen Mars, is offering a $10,000 reward for the return of a ring that was stolen from her Dec. 8. Mrs. Mars is 72 and had received the ring as a gift on her 25th wedding anniversary. She was robbed at gunpoint in the parking lot of a Target by a woman who she thought she had met but simply didn’t recognize. In my capacity as her south Florida criminal attorney, I am helping her to offer the $10,000 reward for information leading to the ring’s return, paid personally by Mrs. Mars. Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers is also taking tips at (305) 471-TIPS.

Mrs. Mars was shopping at a Target in North Miami last Wednesday when a woman in black approached her. This woman behaved as if she knew my client, commenting that she looked great and had put some weight on. As Mrs. Mars told the television station, she thought she knew this woman from her stay in a hospital two years ago, when she was being treated for breast cancer. So she didn’t object when the woman suggested that they leave the store together. When they got further away from the store, the thief pushed a gun into my client’s back and demanded the ring, which she was wearing because she had recently picked it up from being repaired. Afraid for her life, Mrs. Mars handed it over silently and was paralyzed for several minutes before she went back into the store to report the robbery. She feels traumatized by the robbery, but more importantly, she would like the ring back for sentimental reasons.

The news report did not mention this, but the police did not start investigating this crime until today, five days after the Dec. 8 robbery. Although I was the Miami-Dade criminal lawyer representing Mrs. Mars, Target would not release the video of the perpetrator to anyone other than law enforcement due to "corporate policy" absent legal service of process. The thief may not be interested in the $10,000 reward Mrs. Mars is offering, but she is hoping someone will come forward in this holiday time and make her whole again. As a Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney, I know people convicted of armed robbery are facing prison, and often required to pay restitution -- which in this case will be quite pricey.

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September 1, 2010

Horribles Historias de la Internet

About the show:
El 6 de Septiembre del 2010 a las 10:00 pm, El show de Cristina estara presentando un programa con el tópico de los horrores del internet (“Horror stories of the Internet”) En este episodio hay familias y individuales que comparten historias de las terribles experiencias del internet como historias de asesinatos, historias de robo y historias de fuera de contexto.

El internet ha traido muchos beneficios a nuestra cultura pero con esos beneficios también han habido tragedia la Licensiada Sasha Berdeguer y el Agente S. Santiago han presentado formas como evitar problemas ciberneticos.

Contacted for the show:
La licensiada Sasha Berdeguer fue contactada por el estudio de Cristina para hablar de su experiencia legal relacionada con los crimenes cibernéticos y crímenes. Como protegernos predatores del internet.

Experience in relation to internet crimes:
La experiencia de la licensiada Sasha Berdeguer es defendiendo victimas y acusados de crímenes cibernéticos.

http://www.cristinaonline.com/spanish/show/index.asp

Para comunicarse con la Licensiada Sasha Berdeguer, llame al 888-THE DEFENSE (888) 843-3333.

August 11, 2010

West Palm Beach Cyber Crime Attorney Appearing on Sirius XM's "Doctor Radio"

I'm pleased to announce that I will be appearing for the second time this Friday on Doctor Radio, a talk show on SiriusXM satellite radio about medical issues of all kinds. Just like last time, I will be speaking as an expert Orlando cyber crime criminal defense lawyer about how children can be affected by online crime. In addition to sexting, which was a topic during my last appearance, we're going to discuss the very related topics of child pornography and cyberbullying. In fact, I will be joined by Dr. Robin M. Kowalski, a psychology professor at Clemson University and author of Cyber Bullying: Bullying in the Digital Age. The show will discuss these things from a physical and mental health perspective, and I will follow up with a general discussion, from my perspective as a Miami cyber crime criminal defense attorney, of how parents can protect themselves and their kids from legal trouble when they get mixed up in sexting, bullying or other online misbehavior.

You can listen LIVE to About Our Kids -- the parenting and child psych show -- on Doctor Radio on SiriusXM satellite radio (Sirius114 & XM119), Friday, August 13, 2010 from 9-10am Eastern. Not a subscriber? Sign up for a FREE online subscription at www.sirius.com/doctorradio.

April 23, 2010

Polk County Nets 50 in Child Pornography Sting

Polk County Sheriffs office rounded up 50 individuals and charged them with crimes ranging from possession of child pornography, sexual abuse, to production of child pornography. These charges range in penalties, but carry the designation of sex offender for life. David Seltzer is an experienced attorney when it comes to child pornography and cyber crime cases. All consultations are FREE and we practice throughout the United States. Please call today 24/7 if you or a loved one are facing any cyber crime or child pornography related charges. We can be reached toll free at 1-866-ARRESTED (within Florida), or at 888-THE DEFENSE (888-843-3333). For more information on child pornography or the firm, please visit our website.

April 8, 2010

Cyber Crime Attorney Quoted in Article on Law Enforcement Use of Social Networking

I'm proud to announce that I was quoted in an article published today on CNNMoney.com. Lawbreakers foiled by Facebook is really about law enforcement agencies using social networking to gather clues about people being investigated in a crime. I wrote about this last week, and I'm glad to see that the issue is getting more press coverage. As I told the reporter, I advise clients to take down their social networking profiles right away, just because you never know who might be looking or whether your "friend" is really an officer.

If you believe you are under investigation for any crime and you'd like to speak with an experienced Miami cyber crime criminal defense attorney, you can call my office any time -- 24 hours a day and seven days a week -- at 1-866-ARRESTED or send me a message online.

August 21, 2009

UBS Employee gets 40 Months in Prison

If you thought the government wasn't taking tax evasion matters seriously before, think again. Former UBS banker who COOPERATED with the US government and the IRS got sentenced today to 40 months in prison . The IRS is not taking these matters lying down and are searching for anyone involved in hiding money from Uncle Sam. As Miami Criminal Defense Tax Evasion Lawyers, we are experienced in international banking matters.

Not much need be said as this UBS saga continues to play out. The only thing people need to know is that if you qualify as an individual who may be the target of an IRS tax evasion investigation, there is no time to delay. Call today for your FREE consultation. The number is easy 1-866 ARRESTED (within Florida), or 866-685-3421 (nationwide).

August 21, 2009

UBS to Reveal 4,450 Names to IRS

UBS Criminal Defense Attorney's represent individuals being investigated and/or charged with tax evasion. In light of the pending settlement between the United States government and the UBS Swiss Bank, the IRS is receiving 4,450 accounts, which at one time held approximately $18 billion in assets. As a Miami Tax Evasion UBS Criminal Defense Lawyer, this is not the end to this saga. Aside from UBS, the US government is seeking any individuals who may have or currently are hiding assets offshore.

The US government's so-called new voluntary disclosure program is not as new as most believe. For a long time the IRS allowed and continues to allow individuals to resolve tax issues anonymously. If you or anyone you know currently has IRS and/or tax evasion issues and would like a FREE consultation from experienced tax evasion criminal defense attorneys, don't delay call today 24/7 1-866-ARRESTED.

July 21, 2009

Teen Gets Probation for Sending Text Messages in Florida

Think before your text, that is the message we need to be sending our kids. The Sexting Revolution continues to haunt our kids and there is no end in sight. I guess this what we get for giving our kids camera phones. Ultimately who is to blame? Are the courts the best way to deal with this problem? There is an ongoing list of questions that can be posed when it comes to this topic, but the end results is usually the same: kidson criminal probation for being kids; which in turn can lead to a criminal record and problems in the future.

As a Fort Lauderdale Cyber Crime and Criminal Defense Lawyer, I see this problem everyday. Cyber crime both those with sexual content and non-sexual content are plaguing society. Cyber stalking is on the rise, and sexting is here to stay. The final question at the end of all this is, will the State (prosecutor) do the right thing or use the minor as a stepping stone?

Recently a teen in Melbourne, Florida received probation for forwarding sexually explicit photos. This was charged as some serious felonies, but plead down for resolution purposes. But again, I have to ask the question, where's the crime, and what does this resolution serve? Minors sending pictures of minors, and then being charged criminally. This is NOT what the legislature had in mind when they drafted this legislation. Until the legislature amends the laws, this will be debated.

If you or anyone you know needs the assistance of a former cyber crime prosecutor turned criminal defense lawyer in Florida, call 24/7 for a free consultation.

July 21, 2009

Solicitation Sting Nets Life Guard from Miami Dade

Patience pays off...sometimes, but with police agencies actively seeking out those soliciting minors, the agents investigating have all the time in the world. Police around the State and country are growing more patient in developing their suspects. No longer do law enforcement agencies look to net the "quick fix big fish," rather they have started "stalking" their subjects. What that means is they are digging into the backgrounds of their targets and learning everything they can before they make their arrest. They will have several chats, sometimes over a period of months until they finally make an arrest.

Recently in Miami Dade County a life guard was arrested and charged with solicitation of a minor online by the Broward Sheriff's office. BSO had been tracking and following him for months as they built their case. This was a combined effort with international ties, which ultimately led to his arrest. That is what makes this case a little more interesting than most. There are several issues that can arise when dealing with international cases, the evidence they bring and methods that may or may not lead to its introduction in a United States Court of law.

Allegations are all that has been made at this time, and everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty. As a cyber crime defense attorney, there are many avenues that can be taken in order to successfully win and defend against the crime of online solicitation. If you or a loved one are facing charges, cyber crime or otherwise, don't delay call David Seltzer, Miami Dade Cyber Crime Criminal Defense Attorney for a free consultation 24/7. Your freedom and restoration of civil rights is our number one goal!

June 13, 2009

Miami Criminal Defense Attorney on Cyber Crime Conference in Brazil

Due to the increasing cyber crime issues arising around the world, I have decided to start informing my readers of the various cyber conferences that will be taking place around the globe. Please check out the ICCyber.org conference in Brazil.

For travel information please visit:

David Seltzer is a Miami based criminal cyber crime defense attorney. For a free consultation 24/7, please contact him today.

June 10, 2009

Tallahassee Child Pornography Criminal Defense Attorney on Operation Orange Tree

As a Duval County Child Pornography Attorney, I found this interesting, law enforcement arrested seventy-seven (77) people on charges of child pornography this week in Tallahassee, Florida. The arrests were part of an ongoing operation dubbed "Operation Orange Tree." The individuals arrested were from all over the place including two (2) men from Lee County, Florida now faced with child pornography charges and a lifetime of penalties and problems. Other counties where individuals were arrested are Polk County, Florida, and Duval County, Florida, all relating to child pornography and children.

As a Lee County Child Pornography Attorney, what does all this mean for the 77 individuals charged? What it does not mean, and what they should not do is perceive their lives to be ruined. At this point, the state/federal authorities have made allegations of charges. No one has been convicted of anything. When dealing with cyber crime cases, it is all about the forensics and the investigation. The method's and manner in which the agencies conduct themselves is of the utmost importance. T's have to be crossed and I's dotted. Police have to be held accountable for their collection of evidence, and the following of protocols, etc.

As a former Miami-Dade Cyber Crime Prosecutor, I am familiar with all the protocols and procedures that are necessary in a proper arrest and forensic review. I have years of experience in Cyber Crime and child pornography cases both as a prosecutor and a defense attorney. As a Polk County Child Pornography Lawyer, make sure that if you are facing serious child pornography or solicitation charges, your attorney has the necessary experience and can understand and interpret the evidence. Call today for a FREE consultation 24/7 365 contact us 866-685-3421.

June 2, 2009

Miami Dade Battery Criminal Defense Lawyer on Miami Dade Prosecutor's Arrest

What do you do when you are not satisfied with your pizza? Whatever it is, it doesn't usually lead to getting arrested and charged with a criminal act. That is what happened to current prosecutor David Ranck. Mr. Ranck got into an altercation after his pizza was not delivered and he struck the pizza delivery lady. Mr. Ranck is now charge with battery and is facing criminal charges in Miami. (Miami-Dade prosecutor charged with punching pizza delivery woman). The punishment for battery, if convicted is up to 1 year in the county jail.

Battery is the unwanted touching of another. The "touching" need only be that, a touch. It does not require any force, solely that it be unwanted. For more information on battery or any other criminal matter, contact David Seltzer, Miami Criminal Defense Attorney 24/7 for a FREE consultation.

June 1, 2009

Lee County, Florida Child Pornography Criminal Defense Lawyer

In Lee County Florida today, two men where arrested and charged with possession of child pornography.

Fort Myers Cyber Crime and Child Pornography Criminal Defense Lawyer, Free Consultation 24/7. Remember, it is all in the forensics...Cape Coral Child Pornography Criminal Defense Attorney.

May 28, 2009

Polk County Child Pornography Criminal Lawyer

Polk County sheriffs office charged 45 people with possession of child pornography. This has been an ongoing investigation lasting over one (1) year.

45 Charged in Florida Child Pornography Sting

David Seltzer, former Miami Dade State Attorney Cyber Crime Prosecutor, is available 24/7 for free consultations. Now practicing Cyber Crime Defense Law, child porn/child pornography cases are being prosecuted in every jurisdiction in the United States. Your freedom and liberties are at stake, call for a free consultation with David Seltzer, Polk County Child Porn Criminal Defense Attorney.

April 15, 2009

South Florida Cyber Crime Criminal Defense Attorney on Montel Across America!

This morning, I had the honor of appearing on the Air America radio show Montel Across America to talk a little about "sexting." This practice (teens sending each other explicit photos via email or text message) has gotten multiple teenagers charged with sex crimes. In response, the Vermont legislature is considering legislation that would lift criminal penalties for kids ages 13-18 caught sending or receiving the pictures, as long as the sender voluntarily sent a picture of him- or herself. The Associated Press reports that experts believe that kids could still be prosecuted for lewd and lascivious conduct, or disseminating indecent materials to a minor, but the law would end the possibility of sending them to adult prisons and requiring them to register as sex offenders for the rest of their lives. As a Miami cyber crime criminal defense lawyer, I strongly support this effort and others like it -- to make the penalties for sexting better fit the crime.

I joined other legal, policy and medical experts to talk about the legal implications of the practice and the proposed Vermont legislation. You can listen to the audio on Air America's Web site.

April 2, 2009

Miami Criminal Lawyer on Tax Evasion (UBS)

Well as we all knew this was inevitable. The US government today made their first big arrest in prosecuting those involved in hiding money from Uncle Sam. Boca Raton accountant was arrested for allegedly hiding millions in tax dollars. As a Miami Criminal Lawyer who practices Tax Evasion, this is just the beginning. After speaking with various colleagues, both attorneys and forensic accountants alike, the United States government is going to look for its money.

The question is, is it worth it to the US government and taxpayers? Will the cost of prosecution be reflective of what they will recover? I submit to you the answer has to be NO. Generally tax issues settle for pennies on the dollar, so why will these instances be any different? With the economy heading the way it is, is this the best use of our government resources? I believe they should attempt to negotiate and resolve these matters outside court once the individuals are identified. If no resolution can be reached, then let the Courts get involved. But I do not believe that on a cost basis recovery analysis this venture will prove fruitful to Uncle Sam. Stay tuned, more to follow I grantee it...the government never goes away quietly...

March 18, 2009

Miami Criminal Defense Attorney on Technology in the Court Room

The New York Times reported today that there have been an influx of mistrials and misguided verdicts relating to juror's disregard for the law and the American system of justice as jurors are turning to the WWW for information. As a Miami Cyber Crime Defense Lawyer, I am not really sure how I feel about this. Our society is now controlled by technology, and dependent on it for our everyday lives. Is it fair to now ask people to go backwards as technology continues to move us forwards?

As a Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Attorney, I understand the ramifications of individuals tainting their perspective on a case with outside information. However, the real question at this point is how do we as a judiciary going to deal with it? This problem is not going to go away, and both sides always want a fair trial, but with technology in our face 24/7, is every jury from here on out going to require sequestration?

Looking at this matter on anther level, a recent NBA player was admonished for Twittering during the halftime of a recent game.

This article from the New York Times is simply the beginning of this debate. Stay tuned...

February 25, 2009

Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer on Second Chances

As a Miami Criminal and Cyber Crime Defense Attorney, I do what I do to help. A colleague of mine sent me the below video and it reminds us that people in life deserve second chances.

David S. Seltzer is a Miami Cybercrime and Criminal Defense Lawyer who practices throughout the State of Florida, including Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, in both State and Federal Court. Please call 24/7 for your FREE confidential consultation.

February 5, 2009

Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer on Social Networking

In a recent announcement, Myspace.com removed 90,000 registered sex offenders from its website. What is interesting to me as a Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer, is how many of those individuals removed may have been in violation of their sex offender conditions by being online? And if so, will they be prosecuted for the violation?

Usually sexual crimes involving minors committed in today's world involve restrictions on what individuals can and cannot do. In almost all circumstances I have experienced, internet usage has been severally restricted. If an individual who is a registered sexual offender or predator is on probation and requires the use of a computer to work, their freedom to surf the internet is limited. In most cases the machine is equipped with either a keystroke logger or some other form of monitoring device, which allows probation to supervise and monitor every move. Website access is limited to only those sites that the individual requires for work, once they are approved by the appropriate agency's involved.

I can imagine very few circumstances that would require an individual on sexual offender or predator probation to be using myspace.com or any other comparable social networking site, such as facebook.com. That being said, one thing we as a society need to address is, are all individuals who are forced to register as sex offenders, really sex offenders, in the sense that are they a danger to the community? And how long until the courts attempt to impose a lifelong ban on internet usage by sex offenders or predators?

In my opinion each situation must be visited on a case-by-case basis, only after a careful review and understanding of the underlying facts. Working as a Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Attorney, I come across all types of criminal activity and each case must be looked at in a vacuum, as no two cases are alike. Some individuals end up in situations where they are not a danger to the community, and are labeled for the rest of their life.

Case on point, as a Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer, I represent an individual who had consensual intercourse with a minor when he was barely an adult. Unfortunately, he does not qualify under the new Romeo & Juliette laws, and now with a wife and two kids, has nowhere to live since he has been evicted from his home once his landlord learned of his status. Miami Dade County told him to use the MacArthur Causeway as his registered address. Is that what we as a society have become? The city in which he lives does not truly allow sex offenders to live there. However, they are willing to look at each case on a case-by-case basis and if a court of competent jurisdiction makes a finding that the individual is not a danger to the community, then the city will allow him to continue to reside there. Just one of the many reasons why the legislature needs to take another crack at the registration statutes, because sometimes good people get caught in the crossfire.

January 22, 2009

South Florida Criminal Lawyer Feature's the Bielski Brother's

In honor of the nationwide opening of the movie Defiance, staring Daniel Craig, and my impending nuptials to the grand niece of the Bielski Brother's here is history we cannot forget.

South Florida Criminal Defense Attorney. Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer. Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Attorney. Cyber Crime Defense Lawyer. Miami Cyber Crime Defense Attorney. Miami Criminal Defense Attorney.

December 19, 2008

Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer on ‘Sexting’ and Child Pornography

For the past week or two, a hot topic in news outlets around the U.S. has been “sexting” -- a practice among teenagers of sending naked or near-naked pictures of themselves via text message to friends, boyfriends and girlfriends. ABC News reports that many teens then forward the pictures to friends or post them online, where they can spread quickly. The On Parenting blog at the Washington Post says that 22% of girls and 18% of boys reported having sent these pictures electronically.

As you might imagine, this can have profoundly negative consequences for the teens’ social lives -- but in some cases, it’s worse. A few teenagers around the country have actually been charged with making or possessing child pornography because of these pictures. In Wisconsin, a 17-year-old boy was charged with possession after posting naked pictures of his 16-year-old ex-girlfriend on the Web. Four middle-schoolers in Alabama were arrested for exchanging photos. And in New York, a 16-year-old is facing prison for soliciting and sending pictures of his 15-year-old girlfriend to friends.

As a cyber crimes defense attorney in South Florida, I do not believe that our child pornography laws were designed for these situations. The teens usually take their own pictures and voluntarily share them, which makes it difficult to see it as the kind of exploitation of children that Florida child pornography statutes were intended to punish. In fact, under Florida state law, actual sexual activity between young adults ages 16 to 21 is not criminalized under “normal sex offender rules” -- but “sexting” may still be. (As far as I know, Florida has not yet seen this type of prosecution.)

Sending pictures to a third party without the subject’s consent may be another matter. This is certainly unkind, and courts or lawmakers may decide that it’s a criminal activity as well. However, a conviction for possession of child pornography in Florida draws up to five years in prison for each picture or video, plus a lifelong requirement to register as a sex offender. This seems like an overly harsh punishment for a crime that at least started out consensual.

December 12, 2008

Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer on Gun Possession

Miami Criminal Defense Attorney, the saga continues...to carry or not to carry?

More on Athletes and Firearms.

December 5, 2008

Florida Serviceman Charged With Possession of Child Pornography -- Miami Cyber Crimes Defense Lawyer

The Santa Rosa Press-Gazette reported Dec. 2 that an Air Force serviceman was arrested for possession of child pornography. According to the article, the Cyber Crime Unit in Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum’s office found pornographic images of children online and traced them back to the man’s computer. In April, law enforcement seized the computer and an external hard drive, on which a forensic analyst found multiple images and videos alleged to be child pornography. The man is charged with 15 counts of possession of child pornography and one count of promoting the sexual performance of a child, carrying a total of 255 years in prison.

Unfortunately, the article doesn’t go into details about the images and how they were produced. But as a criminal defense attorney specializing in cyber crimes, I can see many possible defenses for this man, just from the few facts presented. For one thing, evidence that something was sent from a person’s computer is not evidence that it was sent by that person. You may not realize it, but viruses and “malware” can and regularly do quietly install themselves on vulnerable computers, which allows them to send and receive all kinds of things without the owner’s knowledge or permission. That was the case for a Massachusetts state worker I wrote about back in June. Of course, another human could also have used the machine.

Either way, once this stuff is on your computer, it can be automatically transferred to an external hard drive or other storage medium by backup software, thus giving law enforcement “evidence” that you collect it. There are many technical pitfalls like this when it comes to tracing electronic evidence. Others include easy-to-fake timestamps, “spoofed” identifying information and lack of accountability for Internet users and companies overseas. If an alleged solicitation was accomplished through Internet servers in another state, you can be charged with a federal crime, even if everyone involved lives in Florida. If you’re charged with this kind of crime, it is essential to find a lawyer experienced in cyber crimes defense, who understands where to look for these small but potentially exonerating details.

Finally, I’d like to point out that the man in this case is being charged under a relatively new Florida law: The Cyber Crimes Against Children Act of 2007. Among other things, this law doubled the penalty for promoting or distributing certain images of a child, which may explain the lengthy potential prison sentence. Whatever the outcome, I hope justice is served.

December 4, 2008

Miami Criminal Defense Attorney on Plaxico Burress

As a Miami Dade Criminal Defense Lawyer pondering Plaxico Buress’ latest off the field saga, I guess the real question that sports fans have to ask one another is why do people who have it all feel the need to do stupid things? Just a thought, but if I was making $206,000.00 a week playing football, carrying concealed weapon into a night club and shooting myself would not be at the top of the list of things a Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Attorney would consider to be a fun night out.

Under Florida law, carrying a concealed firearm is third (3) degree felony punishable by up to five (5) years in prison. However, that being said, discharging a firearm in public carries an additional penalty of up to a year in jail. Under Florida law, if the individual is not a convicted felon, there are no minimum mandatory sentences, unlike New York. The long and short of it is, Plaxico Buress, next time you are stupid and want to lose $824,000.00 do it in a state where the penalties aren’t so harsh.

See Giants' Pierce to testify for grand jury.

August 28, 2008

Miami Criminal Attorney on Cyber Crime: Child Pornography v. Child Erotica

The Supreme Court of the United States has “drawn the line in the sand” about what is and is not child pornography. See Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition. So is taking pictures of your children in the bathtub, or them running around the house naked child pornography? Having been a prosecutor in Miami and dealing with cyber crimes/child pornography, and now a criminal defense lawyer, it is simply something you cannot explain. You know child pornography when you see it. Art is still art, and there is nothing illegal about taking pictures of children clothed, or nude. The question you have to ask yourself when determining if the image is child pornography is, what is the focus of the image? Is the purpose of the image sexual in nature? Does the image focus on a certain part of the minor’s body? The list goes on from there as to what factor government officials use in determining what is and is not child pornography.

That being said, images that don’t fall under child pornography may fall under the category of child erotica. Child erotica is not illegal to possess. However, it is often times difficult and open to many varying degrees of interpretation as to whether something qualifies as child pornography or child erotica. Furthermore, depending on your State laws and the position of the US Attorney in your State, possession of child erotica may be a crime.

In a recent article published by an affiliate of the Miami New Times, the author published images of her children in various stages of undress. (See Newspapers nude child photos draw police review). Now let me state that I have not seen the images, but from what I gather, the focus was no sexual in nature, rather artistic. So why the uproar? It is an election year and politicians can’t be seen as soft on any type of crime that may involve minors. The courts have settled the issue, however, like anything else dealing with the law it will be continually debated for years to come. But again, child pornography is just something you know when you see it, and unfortunately leaves a lot open for interpretation. So ladies and gentleman, the moral of the story is keep your family photos to yourself!

August 27, 2008

Miami, Florida Criminal Cyber Crime Lawyer, Client Testimonial

Our family, who had never, ever been touched by any type of legal situation before, found ourselves in a desperate situation. My husband was arrested for a cyber crime - online solicitation, and we were thrust in the middle of a confusing, frightening, unfamiliar world. I immediately began checking on attorneys. I knew we had to move and move fast. I wanted the very best Florida criminal lawyer there was. I also wanted one familiar with cyber crime. Over and over again the name of David Seltzer, Miami Criminal Computer Crime Lawyer kept coming up. I was told if I wanted the best- he was it. I knew with situations like this you didn’t play around. My husband’s very life depended on quality representation. I contacted Mr. Seltzer, Miami Criminal Cyber Crime Attorney, and he immediately took control of the situation. They arrested my husband in our home state of Kentucky and took him to Florida. Mr. Seltzer’s people met my husband at the jail and got him released. They rented a motel room where he could wait until he was allowed to return to KY. He never had to spend one night in jail in Florida. I was home here in Kentucky and I was panicking, I didn’t know what to expect or what to do. I think Mr. Seltzer, Miami Criminal Computer Lawyer, called me at least 10 times a day during that first week. He gave me his personal cell phone number and gave me permission to use it anytime I needed it. When he says he is available 24/7 – he means it! He definitely went the extra mile to walk us through the court system step by step. Although this crime had the potential of 15 years in jail and a minimum of 21 months, my husband did not have to serve any jail time at all. We cannot convey how important it is to have a good attorney in cases like this. Everyone was right when they told me Mr. Seltzer was the very best criminal attorney in Florida. He is not only knowledgeable about cyber crimes, and computer and internet crimes, he was previously a prosecuting attorney who dealt with cyber crimes in Miami. Mr. Seltzer, Miami Criminal Attorney is very assertive and he is on top of every aspect of your legal defense. Nothing gets by him. If you are facing legal problems, I urge you to contact him immediately. Mr. Seltzer, Miami Criminal Lawyer did an outstanding job for us and we give him our highest recommendation.

Signed
A GRATEFUL WIFE

July 29, 2008

Athletes and Special Treatment, Florida Any Different?

People always wonder, do athletes get special treatment? The answer is, in typical lawyer speak, "it depends." There are programs around the country designed to give first time offenders a break. A "get out of jail free card," if you will. In Miami, Florida, the program is called Pre-Trial Intervention ("PTI"). The purpose is to show an individual who has committed a qualifying crime what contact with the system is like in hopes to deter any future contact. Generally the conditions of PTI range from fines, donations, courses, to community service hours. Once the conditions are completed, the case is dismissed, the individual is eligible to have their record sealed and expunged, and life goes on!

So, athletes and celebrities who are also first time offenders are entitled to the same treatment. Just because they are in the public eye doesn't mean we should treat them differently. As I was working earlier today, I received a call from my home town of Montreal from Mitch Melnick at radio station Team 990. He wanted to know more about the Montreal Canadians hockey player whose case was dismissed in Tampa, Florida earlier today. As I understand the facts of the case, Ryan O'Byrne, along with a teammate Tom Kostopoulos, were charged in Tampa in February for an incident relating to theft and resisting arrest. Kostopoulos' case was dismissed; however, O'Byrne's remained open until today when it was dismissed in exchange for an apology and community service hours. (Charges dropped against Habs' O'Byrne after court apology, community service)

There are a whole host of reasons why a case gets dismissed, but again if a first time offender is taking responsibility and cooperating with the authorities, this type of result is not uncommon, famous or not. People make mistakes in life and the criminal justice system is supposed to be "somewhat" rehabilitative, no?!

Florida Lawyer Segment

July 28, 2008

Miami Dade Cyber Crime Attorney Top 10 Do's and Don'ts - Part 1

Cyber crime is on the rise. Not a novel or new statement, but what is novel and new is the way that law enforcement, attorneys, and judges are dealing with this new area of the law. South Florida (Miami and Broward County) is no exception or stranger to the increased cyber crime. Cyber law crosses into various aspects of our current legal system – civil, domestic, criminal, etc. This list is meant to give you a glimpse into the world of cyber crime and what lies ahead for the defense bar. Combating these case is often timely and costly, but with the right strategy and defense, cyberspace may hold the key to vindication!

Here is part 1 of the Top 10 Do's and Don'ts on various issues concerning cyber crime cases (Part 2 to follow in the upcoming weeks):

6. Chat logs, are they what they purport to be? Has your agency caught up with the Jones’? What type of technology are they using to track your client’s chats? Most agencies are new at the whole cybercrime game, so they are doing things the old fashioned way; they are cutting and pasting the chat logs into a word file. Often times you can argue that is not the “best evidence,” as the data is easily manipulated and often times missing lines of text as well as other important text entries. There is software out there that allows the undercover agent to track the conversations, whereby they don’t have the ability to manipulate the data. Check your jurisdiction’s case law. But the best evidence is always the logs. Computers don’t generally retain chat logs, but often times forensically you can recover excerpts, which can be helpful.

7. IP Logs. Always check the little things that can be overlooked. I have seen it before, where an agency is investigating a crime and has subpoenaed IP logs, date/time, etc., but has either forgotten to include the appropriate time zone, the wrong time zone, or didn’t take into account daylight savings time. So make sure the government agency has subpoenaed the right IP logs. For example, if the issue is an AOL email that was sent containing suspected child pornography, the correct IP log to subpoena would be found in the header information of the email sent, not the IP log captured when the AOL screen name registered the account.

8. Is your client a collector? Generally speaking, someone who possesses child pornography has tendencies that are obsessive compulsive. They collect images and videos, and will usually have hundreds if not thousands of images. So what does that mean for the client who is found with one or two? Very important not to dismiss your clients statements as to how or why they are there. Computers these days do a lot of crazy things and if your client only has a few pictures, I would get ready to dig in your heals in order to determine where they came from and how they got there. (Refer back to No. 1 – Forensic Expert is key!)

9. Does the search warrant authorize what the agency actually did? Computer search warrants can be very technical and complex these days. With that being said, the judge who is reading the warrant often times doesn’t understand what the warrant specifically authorizes. Then again, sometimes neither does the affiant of the warrant. This tip on search warrants should be read it conjunction with number 3, because when you are deposing the affiant you want to grill them on the warrant to ensure that they accurately portrayed the sworn affidavit to the judge. Fruit of the poisonous tree…Additionally, information contained in a warrant may be inaccurate. For example, the affiant may have used an incorrect IP address as its source of probable cause, wrong property description, may not have had probable cause to believe the evidence they are seeking would be stored on a computer, and the list goes on. Furthermore, does the warrant even authorize a search of the computer and/or additional seized media post-seizure? If it does authorize a search, what does it authorize a search for? If it is documents, and they discover images of child pornography, do they continue to search without a warrant, or did they stop to secure a new warrant to search? Just a few issues to scratch the surface on warrants.

10. Consent, to what? Agencies often attempt to secure consent to search electronic media rather than get a search warrant. What you need to look for is what was seized, whose electronic media was it, did the person who gave consent have the ability to give consent (does that person use the computer on a regular basis, do they have their own login information, is the computer password protected…). Agency’s investigating cyber crime love to execute the knock-and-talk with a consent waiver in their hand. Target is usually not home and the girlfriend, wife, or adult child, signs on behalf of the target that has no idea what is going on. Later on appeal, the State argues they had probable cause and through inevitable discovery, they would have gotten a warrant. I submit to you that’s bogus. If they had probable cause, they would have come warrant in hand, and but for the consent to search form being executed by an individual without authorization, they would not have any evidence.

a. Additionally, depending on your workplace, your client may already have given their employer permission to search their workplace computer. Be it a form you signed on day one of your employment that informed you of the company’s computer policies, or a daily banner that comes up on your screen every time you logon, an employer may be able to give law enforcement what they are asking for. This scenario is wholly dependent on what the banner/notification policy states.

The litany of questions and hypothetical’s is too long for this list, but just be aware that in the land of cyberspace, there are always alternative theories and legal issues that will keep the government agencies on their toes and require exploration by the defense bar deep into the world of cyberspace!

David S. Seltzer is a former Miami-Dade County Cyber Crime State Prosecutor. His practice is limited to criminal defense with a specialty in cyber crime. For more information or to contact David S. Seltzer, please visit www.cybercrimesdefense.com.

June 24, 2008

Child Porn Charges Dropped

First off, thank you to Prof. Patrick Corbett, from Thomas M. Cooley, who passed this story on to me. I recently ran into Patrick at the ABA Cyber Seminar, in Washington, DC. I attended Cooley, prior to transferring to Miami. I transferred for family reasons, but I truly believe that the education at Cooley is one of the best in the country, because they really, truly care about the success of their students.

State worker was charged with possession of child pornography on his workplace computer. A situation that is all too familiar these days. However in this case, the computer wasn't all that accurate. Yes, the computer did possess child pornography, but in filing a case the State must also prove that the user knew (or had dominion on control over the images). In this situation the State had neither. In a forensic review of the computer, the defendant was able to prove that he was not accessing or viewing child pornography, rather the computer was. What?

This is not the first instance of computers doing things on their own. Basically what happens is that you either intentionally, or unintentionally (virus), download a software application. They come in many forms, but the gist of the application is the same - it seeks out pornography, and doesn't differentiate between child and adult. It then appears to the world that your "machine" has been viewing pornography, and thus the police investigation/charges.

Who's fault is this? You would think that in the "pursuit of justice," that the police would be cognizant of the various types of viruses out there and when they forensically analyze the media they seize, that they would search for them. In reality what happens is that due to the backlog of media that is waiting to be forensically analyzed throughout this country, once the analyst discovers the evidence to make its case, the forensic review stops and the case gets filed. That begs the question, who really has the burden of proof?

It just goes to show you that you really can't judge a book by it's cover. For the article, click here: State Worker Cleared on Child Pornography Charges

June 12, 2008

Miami Criminal Attorney Represents International Jewel Thief

Breakers jewel thief sentenced to prison

By LARRY KELLER

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Thursday, June 12, 2008

WEST PALM BEACH- — Debonair international jewel thief Nordine Herrina traded his expensive suits for drab jailhouse blues in court today, where he pleaded guilty to stealing two rings from a Palm Beach jewelry store that retailed for $1.5 million.

Herrina, 32, was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison after agreeing to plead guilty to two counts of grand theft of more than $100,000. He was credited for the two years he has been in jail, reducing the actual sentence to 18 months. Each charge carried a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.

A French citizen, Herrina was a globe-trotting jewel thief extraordinaire who pocketed millions in baubles, authorities say. Dapper and accompanied by a beautiful woman, Herrina used sleight of hand to swindle jewelers in Italy, France, Switzerland, California and New York, they say. On at least one occasion, he claimed he was Prince Khalid of the Saudi royal family.

He was imprisoned in Italy in December 2002, then transported to Switzerland where he was sentenced to the time he already served in Italy. But the United States began extradition proceedings to have him face charges in Miami-Dade County, Palm Beach County and Orange County, California.

He arrived in Miami earlier this year. A judge there also sentenced him to the time served abroad, and ordered him to pay $145,000 in restitution. His next stop: the Palm Beach County courthouse.

Before retired Judge Roger Colton sentenced him today, Herrina gave him a neatly printed letter in which he said he has reformed. Unmarried, he has a 5-year-old daughter, he wrote.

"I am suffering for all this years lost from life from 26-32 years," he wrote. "I will like to see my daughter. I have learn a lot in prison. I will ... come back in the society and give the best of me."

If the way Herrina filched two rings from the Diamont Noir jewelry shop at The Breakers hotel in April 2001, was typical of how he operated, he was as smooth as a perfect pearl. Here's how Palm Beach police — who worked with the FBI and Interpol — say he did it:

Wearing a navy blue double-breasted suit, white shirt, violet tie and carrying a black alligator-type wallet, Herrina walked into the shop with a buxom blonde wearing a low-cut, off- the-shoulder blouse.

He asked to see a ring in the display case, and the blonde tried it on, then returned it to Stephanie Halimi, the store owner's daughter. Herrina then asked if Halimi had something bigger for his wife, explaining that the blonde was his girlfriend.

Herrina was shown a larger ring. He asked to speak to Halimii in a back office. Then he asked to see the box for the ring. Next, he asked to speak to employee John Goodkin, saying he preferred to do business with a man, because he was Arab.

Herrina put five 100-dollar bills on a counter and said he wanted to buy both rings — one for his wife, one for his girlfriend. The larger ring was a platinum, 9.15 carat, cushion cut diamond, flanked with two half-moon shaped diamonds. Retail value: $1.06 million.

The smaller ring was set in 18 carat yellow gold and platinum, with an 11 carat, fancy yellow pear-shaped diamond, flanked with two pear-shaped clear diamonds. Retail value: $441,140.

Herrina told Goodkin that he would return to purchase the rings after he went to lunch. Goodkin thought he watched Herrina place the rings back in a black velvet box, which was placed in a safe. He asked Goodkin not to show the rings to anybody else.

As Goodkin was about to close the store at 7 p.m., the "Arab" and the blonde had not returned. He went to the safe and discovered both rings were missing.

Police believe Herrina and his friend scammed a Boca Raton jeweler out of a $130,000 bracelet the same day, and were thwarted by a second jeweler in that city. The next day they were trying the same ruse at Cartier and Christian Dior shops in New York City, they say.

Now Herrina is headed to a Florida state prison, but maybe not for long. He still has charges pending in Orange County, California, which has the right to grab him immediately, said his Miami attorney, David Seltzer. If convicted there, he could serve his sentence in California, Seltzer said.

As part of Herrina's plea deal on Thursday, he was ordered to pay $1.5 million, plus $846 in court costs. But Judge Colton told Herrina that once he finishes his U.S. prison sentence, he likely will be deported — he still must serve a two-year sentence in France — and barred from returning here.

"There's no way of enforcing those judgments," Seltzer said.

June 11, 2008

Miami, Drugs and Athelets...Miami's been quiet...for a change...

Athlete’s, alcohol and drugs seem to be dominating the news media these days. From Cedric Benson and his multiple drinking and driving arrests, to ex-DB Dexter Reid pleading to possession of marijuana with intent to distribute (he was acquitted of carrying a concealed weapon), to Nick Kaczur, a member of the New England Patriots, arrested for possession of OxyContin, a controlled substance, and in the middle of a federal government investigation, to Kenny Stabler, a former NFL star arrested for his third DUI. And that ladies and gentlemen is just the recent cases of alcohol and drugs in the NFL.

Everyone deserves a second chance in life, but should athletes, the people our youth look up to be held to a higher standard? Are they the ones our youth are seeking to emulate? Drugs in sports are nothing new. Major sports are addressing the use of narcotics with the public arrests of numerous players, and the federal government spending tax payer money inquiring as to what’s going on, and for what, what does the federal government hope to accomplish? Should an athlete’s careers be tarnished forever, or are they human, and entitled to error?

Having been a prosecutor in Miami-Dade County Florida, I have dealt with my fair share of drug cases, but I can tell you not all jurisdictions deal with cases in the same manner. Miami is very forgiving to first time drug offenders, sometimes second. The Court’s have programs in place such as drug court, whereby the defendant participates in court ordered treatment and following a set amount of time, absent no set-backs, the case would be dismissed and the individual does not have a felony record.

The judicial system is supposed to be rehabilitative, but not all people see it that way. Some people perceive it to be punishment first, and rehabilitate second. I can understand that mentality for certain crimes, but remember the book, Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff, people need to pick and choose their battles. Scarring someone for life for one indiscretion isn’t what we as a society ought to be doing or I don’t believe ever set out to do. The law is here to help and guide us. If we slip up, then so be it, we work to fix it, but should it mean your life is scarred and ruined? Guess it depends where you commit the crime…

June 11, 2008

Miami and States Crack Down on Child Pornography

State and Federal agencies are cracking down on child pornography in an effort to protect the nation’s young from repeated online victimization. Internet Service Providers, such as Verizon, Time Warner, and Sprint , have announced that they will be spending in excess of $1 million dollars to purge their systems of anything child porn related. For more details see: Verizon, Time Warner Cable, Sprint to Block Child Porn Sites

The question is at the end of the day, how will this really help protect our nation’s youths? Will all the nation’s ISP’s follow suit? Will this become legislation? If the Federal Government steps in, what happens when this is challenged in the court’s over free speech and first amendment issues, just like Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition, 535 U.S. 234 (2002). This new twist in fighting child pornography is not over...

April 19, 2008

Barry University Update on Campus YouTube Incident

So my clients had their hearings, which were supposedly impartial. There is good news and bad news, but I am still unclear about the bad news. If you recall from the WSVN Channel 7 story the young lady who was victimized and sucker punched in the altercation, she was suspended for the remainder of the semester and kicked off campus. She now has no where to live and no money, and of course, the University will not return the money she paid for housing and tuition. She is however, allowed to come back to school next semester, so long as she pays her tuition and expenses. Go figure...This is not the end of her story...

As for the budding cameraman, he was allowed back into school and into housing, with certain restrictions. The question is, due to the amount of time he missed because of the University's suspension, he may not be able to complete the semester, which again will require him to pay more money to the University to make up the classes. All for videoing an incident on school property and posting it on YouTube.com. But again, his future has been affected and this may not be the end of this situation for him either.

The University showed their true colors here for what clearly appears to be financial gain. As I said in my interview with Channel 7 WSVN Fox, the University was not happy for the "black eye" this incident gave the University. Over 500 people saw the video on YouTube.com and god forbid that affects the Universities enrollment as there was a physical altercation on campus.

I have learned that last year a student broke down a door on campus and pulled a knife on another student in the dorms. End result, that student was not expelled and continues to be a student at Barry University. Another incident involving a female and a fight on campus, still has that female student enrolled at Barry University. So why has my client, who is CLEARLY the victim in this incident, and solely protecting herself and her safety, no longer a student this semester at Barry University? My client was a good student, involved in student leadership, and would give tours of the campus to prospective students. I am at a loss for the way the University is handling this situation, but then again, the saga continues...

April 19, 2008

Cyber Crime Takes on New Face...Are you Safe

Is your information safe? People take a lot for granted when it comes to the internet and their financial information. For example, the simplest thing that most people forget to do when using a public computer is making sure they are logged off and thus, the person after you doesn't access your information. Internet security is an issue that it is at the forefront of countries security all over the world. Internet hacking is the crime de jour, and the new target for organized crime. No longer do people walk into banks and rob them like Bonnie & Clyde, they do it from the comfort of their living room. What are you doing to make sure that your information is secure?

April 8, 2008

Barry University Stomps on First Amendment

So when did we lose the right to freedom of speech? The law doesn't allow private institutions to thwart the law, so why does Barry University think they have the right to bully around two young students? Kids will be kids, and I am the first one to state that all parties may not have clean hands in this situation, but as far as Barry University is concerned, while on SCHOOL PROPERTY, my clients did nothing wrong.

If you haven't already heard, Barry University has initiated expulsion proceedings against two students, both of which have 3.0+ grades, and one of whom is a student leader. Both students have aspirations of higher education and distinguished professional careers. Now the only thing that stands in their way is private politics.

A video of the incident which occurred on Barry University's campus April 4, 2008, was posted on YouTube. What the video shows, is a loud discussion among some students that drew a crowd. My client, the budding camera man decided to film the altercation and include his own play-by-play commentary. My other client was involved in the debate, but as the video clearly shows, she WAS NOT the aggressor, rather the victim when she was sucker punched by another female. Present during this altercation was the resident adviser as well as numerous campus security. Kudos to the student RA, who was the only one from the school who attempted to stop the incident.

50 States security, one of Barry University's rent-a-guard patrols, is seen on video and asked if he was going to stop this incident, to which there was no response. Also, in violation of school policy, the security guards hired to protect the students failed to file incident reports.

Some great filming if you ask me. Lots of different camera angles, shots of the crowd, the interested parties, the school officials. Barry has taken the position at this time that only my two clients, and the girl who threw the punches are being expelled. Of course that position changed once Fox News Miami got involved. The University was planning on identifying every student who stood idly by and watched the altercation and expelled them in accordance with some obscure school policy. But of course, as the media got involved they backed off that course of action.

So what makes my clients any different, why are they being railroaded here? In an attempt to resolve this matter today, I contacted both the Dean of Students Office and the Legal Department. End result nothing was done. When asked if I can attend a meeting with my clients earlier today, answer no, the public is not allowed to attend hearings and meetings. Ok, so my clients then met with Jeff Edwards of the University who asked them to sign a document admitting the charges against them. Why would they sign a document admitting something that didn't happen, just to allow the school to expel them...Barry clearly has shown no interest in doing what is best for their students, rather, they are simply concerned with their image. My clients didn't break any laws. My clients are the victims here.

Here we have two students from out of state, with no money and no place to sleep. The University has informed them that if they return to their dorm rooms, which they are continuing to pay for, or to the cafeteria, to eat meals they are continuing to pay for, then they will be arrested for trespassing and charged criminally. So now I have to clients, which I will gladly continue to feed and make sure that they have housing, but what is Barry doing to protect these young students who they have made homeless? Are they going to give them back their money, voluntarily? Of course not, but then again that is why we have courts.

Below is the piece that aired on WSVN 7 Miami today. I am working of putting the entire video up, so check back soon so you can be the judge as to what is really going on here. This is a travesty of justice and the University is trying to sweep it under the rug. Well, I won't let them.

April 7, 2008

Miami Criminal Defense Firm, with a Specialty in Cyber Crime Launches Website

It is with great pleasure that I announce the launch of www.davidsseltzer.com.

Please check it out and let us know how the Law Offices of David S. Seltzer, PA can help protect your freedom and rights. Don't delay, let a former Miami-Dade County Prosecutor help protect your good name and reputation. Contact us today.

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April 6, 2008

Virtual Childpornography and Steganography, What's Next?

So I was watching a television program and there was an interesting storyline. The program addressed a plethora of child pornography issues, which are clearly becoming an increasing concern for law enforcement as technology quickly advances. Without going into the entire show, the two interesting issues were: Youth Enhancement Software (Image Manipulation) and Steganography .

The program focused on the landmark case of Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition, 535 U.S. 234 (2002), possession of virtual child pornography is not illegal, rather free speech. And what has developed as a result of that is a world that law enforcement and the Supreme Court cannot control. Technology that is used for “good,” age progression software; is now being used in reverse – age regression. So essentially, legal aged girls are being photoshopped back into their youth, and the child pornography is legal. According to the Supreme Court, that’s legal. Virtual child pornography or manipulated images are going to make prosecution of child pornography a whole new world. As these images start popping up around the world, prosecutors will no longer be able to stand up there and state that the images are actual real children. Expert testimony is going to drive the cost of prosecution on these cases through the roof, and with cutbacks all over the country in law enforcement, it will be interesting to see what gives, the trial tactics, or the Constitutional right to “free speech…”? If anyone image in the defendant’s control is not “authentic,” the entire prosecution is compromised.

Another interesting issue addressed in the program was Steganography . Basically, it’s a secret image or text hidden behind another image. This is interesting because it is becoming more prevalent on the web and easily available to anyone who can download the necessary software. It’s not used solely for child pornography, but it’s been its most recent adaptation. To the naked eye, without the appropriate software, looking at a picture of the Statue of Liberty can really be pornography. When you decrypt the code, you will not see any lost pixels or portions of the image. So sending it over the internet can often allow the image to travel undetected through internet photo scanner programs (a discussion for another day).

It makes you wonder about technology today and its effects on the investigation and prosecution of child pornography, what does tomorrow hold? Technology is going to continue to be an uphill battle for all involved in protecting our youth. So again, what has to give to protect our children, whose rights, free speech?

March 25, 2008

Jorge Cueto for Circuit Court Judge

Sorry for the absence to all my loyal readers, been a busy month moving to our new digs. But I am back and today showing support for a near and dear friend of mine running for Judge. Here is a letter that I received that I wanted to share.
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Dear Neighbor:

Jorge E. Cueto, a resident of Country Walk, has filed as a candidate for Circuit Court Judge, in Group 11 of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida. Jorge has over thirty years of professional experience in both the private and public sectors. He was admitted to the Florida Bar in October 1992. As an Assistant State Attorney in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit, he prosecuted defendants in the County, Juvenile and Felony divisions of the Miami-Dade courts. His last assignment with the State Attorney’s Office has been in the elite Public Corruption Unit.

Prior to joining the State Attorney’s Office, Jorge was legal counsel and vice president for a mid-western corporation. In that capacity, he practiced general commercial and corporate law, and executed a number of mergers and acquisitions. Jorge also served honorably as a member of the Miami-Dade Police Department for sixteen years. His last assignment was Commander of General Investigations for the Cutler Ridge District. Jorge was assigned to the County Board of Commissioners where he was named Staff Counsel to the Public Safety Committee of the Board. Jorge is conversant in Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Italian and has a working knowledge of Russian. He has taught several topics as adjunct professor in the College of Urban and Public Affairs of Florida International University. Among these courses were Comparative Legal Systems, Criminal Law, Organized Crime, Origins of Terrorism and Public Personnel Management.

Jorge graduated from Immaculata-LaSalle High School in Miami, Florida. He attended Boston University and received his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry/Biochemistry from the University of Miami. He earned a Juris Doctor from the School of Law of the University of Miami. He also attained an ISO 2000 Quality Auditor Certification through DePaul University and has designed quality control systems conforming to this international standard. Jorge Cueto successfully completed the required CPA curriculum for the State of Illinois CPA at the College of DuPage. He has been admitted to the Forensic Accounting Master Program at Florida Atlantic University.

Jorge’s personal and professional affiliations include membership in The Florida Bar, The Cuban American Bar Association, The American Chemical Society, The League of Prosecutors, Phi Delta Phi Legal Honor Society, University of Miami Law School Alumni Association, The Historical Museum of South Florida and the International Police Association. He currently serves as a board member of the Miami-Dade Citizens’ Independent Transportation Trust.

Jorge Cueto has been married to Ana Maria Cardin Cueto for over thirty years and they are blessed with three adult daughters: Elizabeth, AnaMari and Lauren.

Because of his extensive public service to this community, intellect and commitment to the law and justice, Jorge would be a fair, impartial and well-balanced judge, equipped with a varied technical legal background and the richness of the life he has led. That is why I am asking you to endorse and support his candidacy and contributing in any way you can. Enclosed you will find a self-addressed envelope. Please join me in voting for my husband, Jorge, for Circuit Court Judge on August 26th, 2008.

Sincerely,

Ana Maria Cardin-Cueto

Jorge Cueto for Judge!

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February 16, 2008

Voice Over IP Hacker Arrested in Miami, a new Cyber Crime

So you again thought you were safe. What people have to realize is that the cost of doing business has gone up in today's world, mainly due to stories like this one. Companies spend millions of dollars a year to protect their infrastructure as well as their clients valuable personal information, only to discover that everything they thought they were doing right has been hacked. As technology advances and we as a society get away from the traditional telephone system, cyber space has become the new switchboard. Not only is it cheaper to make a call on the internet, but you often times have more control over various telephone features that most people don't realize exist. I have been a Voice Over IP user for years and what has essentially occured is that I am always connected to my numbers, be it online, through my blackberry, or a simple text message. I guess there is such a thing as being too accessible.

This nationwide FBI investigation has lead to the arrest of multiple suspects in conjunction with a voice over IP scam (VoIP). What the subjects would do is hack VoIP companies and steal online telephone minutes and resell them. Check out the video and see how these hackers bragg about the capabilities of the companies to secure themselves.

Continue reading "Voice Over IP Hacker Arrested in Miami, a new Cyber Crime" »

February 16, 2008

Phishing, What is it?

So what do you do with all the junk mail you receive about your personal information? Do you believe everything that you see in an email? If so watch this video and educate yourself as to what really goes on in cyberspace. More of my comments to follow.

February 13, 2008

Florida DCF Worker and Kiddie Porn…What’s Next?

I know this is probably old Florida news by now, but it just makes you wonder about all the money the government invests into protecting our children and then something like this happens. Agencies are getting more money to fight crimes of this nature, but are they really making any headway? I have the utmost respect for law enforcement – having been a former prosecutor – but where are all the funds going? I know in Miami for example, some of the finest officers in the country, they are undermanned and overworked.

A few months back it was a prosecutor who killed himself after being exposed in an undercover child exploitation sting. Are we creating monsters as a society by continually exposing individuals (voluntarily) to child pornography and solicitation cases? Should there be continual review processes in place to ensure that the people we pay to protect our children are in fact doing so and not “falling off the wagon?”

I have no doubt that our law enforcement personnel are doing their job and it’s only a few bad eggs spoiling the bunch, but there needs to be some oversight to make sure that we weed out the bad apples and make sure we monitor those exposed to these crimes. This DCF arrest doesn’t spell the end to government workers involved in child exploitation scandals, the question is how is the government going to guard against it?


DCF Worker Accused of Using Children to Make Porn

February 11, 2008

Cyber Crime on the Rise, Shocked?

In today’s day and age you would be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t know how to use a computer. Computers are everywhere and control everything. So is it surprising to hear that according to the US Department of Defense, the volume of cyber crime grew by 54% in the last year. If you think about it, the target area, or the playground as some individuals might call it, as grown virtually in cyber space. Paper is a thing of the past and everything has gone high tech. Banks, credit cards, you name it and it involves a computer.

But the real question is, are the big companies the only ones that have to be concerned? The answer is clear. With a 54% increase in cyber crime, it is a problem that everyone has to take notice of. Small and medium sized enterprises should be more aware, to the individual working online with personal information.

As a defense attorney who specializes in cyber crimes, I get calls all the time from people who have had their personal websites hacked, to their identities stolen. Of course there are remedies and manners of redress that are available, but we as individuals have to be prepared. We have to take the necessary steps to protect ourselves from cyber crime. The governments can only do so much. The local police and government agencies are overworked, under financed, and under manned to deal with the increase in cyber crime. And the crimes that they do focus on are the high priority, high profile crimes, as they should. However, then who is left to look after the little guy?

You. So be mindful of where you enter your personal information. Protect your computers with the appropriate software, and trust no one. Your information is sacred and if you lose it, it will spell trouble for you.

February 1, 2008

Miami Without Internet?

Let’s think for a second what the ramifications would be like if Miami, or the Eastern Sea Board, or the United States was without internet and telephone communication…hmm…sheer and utter chaos? Probably. We have become a society dependent on technology; we will never be able to live without it. So how are we affected by the outages in the Mideast?

As a nation cognizant of its costs, numerous companies outsource work to the Mideast. Therefore, I am certain that this Mideast shut down is having a serious negative effect on companies’ worldwide. The problem may take weeks to fix, but the lost profits might take much longer to recoup. At the end of the day, who is to blame for this incident, and how can we see that it never happens again? What this has shown us is that our technological infrastructure can be breached, be accidentally or intentionally, governments have to aware of areas that can cause serious damage to a nation’s economy. At the end of the day who is to be held accountable?

Third undersea Internet cable cut in Mideast

January 25, 2008

Cyber Crime is All the Rage

Hollywood is getting into the act. The new so-called technological thriller is Hollywood’s take on cyber crime. The movie’s premise is a cyber-crime FBI agent who investigates killings, where the weapon of choice is the internet. The movie title “Untraceable,” attempts to give people a sense of what is actually capable of happening when using the World Wide Web. The possibilities seem to be endless, but are they? Maybe to a point…

But in the end, possible, reasonable, or Hollywood? Cyber crime is here to stay. The question is how are the agencies that investigate the crimes going to deal with them.

Hollywood.jpg Media Credit: Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures