The Cost of a White Collar Crime Conviction in OC
Although sentences for white collar crimes like fraud, embezzlement, and identity theft are generally measured in months rather than years - like those for more violent crimes - they are often accompanied by a heavy financial burden including fines, court fees, and restitution.
Looking over the Orange County superior court fee schedule for civil and criminal cases, you can see that any number of court proceedings can end up costing a defendant hundreds or thousands of dollars. This doesn't include any fines included in a sentence or court ordered remuneration like that seen in three recent Southern California cases.
This week, the sentencing order of Moundir Kamil, 45, was unsealed in Los Angeles. Kamil was convicted of stealing a tax refund check for more than $1 million dollars from Donald Bren, chairman of the Irvine Company. In addition to the time served and three years of probation, Kamil has been ordered to pay $1.1 million in restitution (https://www.ocregister.com/2015/04/06/donald-bren-fraud-defendant-ordered-to-pay-1-million-restitution/).
On Tuesday, Gail Diane Monestere was sentenced to community service in lieu of jail time for failing to repay court-ordered restitution to a Huntington Beach PTO. Monestere had made a deal with prosecutors to repay more than $22,000 while serving three years of probation, but still owes the PTO more than $2,000. She may also have to pay about $14,000 in restitution to a bank (https://mynewsla.com/orange-county/2015/04/07/embezzler-who-stole-from-huntington-beach-pto-sentenced/)
Finally, the operator of a "revenge porn" website received an 18 year sentence for identity theft and extortion in San Diego. On top of his prison term, Kevin Christopher Bollaert, 28, must repay his victims a total of $15,000 and has been fined $10,000 (https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-revenge-porn-sentenced-20150403-story.html).
As a practicing attorney since 1999, I've seen the toll that fines and court costs can take on a family's finances. That's one of the reasons why I fight so hard for my clients. While it's true that hiring a defense attorney isn't free, defendants with representation have a much better chance at acquittal. That means fewer fines and no loss of income due to incarceration.
When you're charged with a crime, your personal and professional life don't get put on hold. You'll still have the same family and work commitments as before and you now have to juggle them with court dates. An experienced lawyer is an invaluable resource as you prepare a defense. Remember, the prosecution isn't after you because of personal animus, they believe you have committed a crime and will do everything they can to prove it in court.
At my firm, we have the necessary staffing and resources to counter the prosecution's claims. Remember, we don't have to prove your innocence, we just need to show where there's room for doubt. We'll be there to tell your side of the story in court or help you plead down to a lesser offense. At our firm, we make sure that you have a voice in the process as you try to manage your other responsibilities.
I'm proud of the work I do in the criminal justice system, and there's nothing more gratifying to me than making sure that my clients don't serve excessive prison sentences or pay exorbitant fines. As I've expanded my practice I've made sure that it serves the needs of the local community by opening offices in Irvine, Garden Grove, and Newport Beach, and offering foreign language assistance as needed.
I know that nobody wants to need the services of an OC criminal defense attorney, but if you ever do, don't hesitate to call Law Office of Michael L. Guisti at (714) 530-9690.
Whether you're facing a felony or a misdemeanor, don't risk a conviction. Act quickly to redeem your reputation and protect your record by consulting with our Orange County criminal defense lawyer. Call today to schedule your free consultation.