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Louisiana construction firm faces federal mail fraud charges

Louisiana residents who are accused of crimes under state law will usually find themselves up against prosecutors with much greater resources than the defendants they prosecute. Those facing charges in federal court may feel even more outmatched, as they face prosecutors with all the resources of the federal government. A defense against criminal charges in these situations has to be at least as strong as the prosecution against it.

Recently, nine officers of a Louisiana construction company were indicted on federal charges of mail fraud after prosecutors said they and their workers filed fraudulent applications for unemployment benefits from the Louisiana Workforce Commission. According to prosecutors, the construction firm operated a scheme in which its employees would continue to claim unemployment benefits while they were actually working. The company would then save money by subtracting the unemployment benefit check amounts from the employees' salaries.

The construction firm is run by the 44-year-old son of the mayor of Bogalusa. The alleged crimes fall under federal law because the accused allegedly used the U.S. Postal Service to mail fraudulent forms to the Louisiana Workforce Commission.

Not only do federal prosecutors have large resources at their disposal, but federal charges often come with harsher penalties than charges under state law. Those who are facing federal charges need a strong, well-crafted defense strategy to make sure they avoid the worst of these penalties. Defending against criminal charges in federal court can be quite a bit different than the process is in state court in Louisiana.

Source: NOLA.com, "Bogalusa mayor's son, employees indicted on federal mail fraud and conspiracy charges," Heather Nolan, April 17, 2014

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