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Portland Federal Criminal Defense Law Blog

Did your teenager vandalize a mailbox?

Teenagers are by nature irrepressible, often engaging in hijinks out of boredom. But sometimes their behavior crosses the line into criminal territory.

Mailbox vandalism is one of those examples where horseplay among teens or young adults has gone a step too far. This criminal act is actually a federal offense, and the vandals can face very serious consequences as a result.

New immigration laws can make lawful residents' status uncertain

These uncertain political times make it a risky time to be an immigrant in America. Here in Oregon, one immigrants' rights group is being proactive against the proposed travel and immigration bans.

On Feb. 1, Unite Oregon filed a federal lawsuit in Portland against President Trump. Their lawsuit seeks an injunction against the executive order Trump issued regarding immigration policies.

Is Best Buy an arm of the Federal Bureau of Investigation?

How far can a computer repair company go in ferreting out child porn on the computers it repairs for its customers?

That's a question Best Buy Geek Squad technicians are facing. Allegedly, some of the techs have received remuneration as paid informants of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for their work identifying signs of child pornography on customers' computers.

Don't get caught for fraud!

One type of fraud for which you can be arrested and convicted is to send out fake invoices that are actually solicitations. While they may contain disclaimers somewhere in small print stating, "This is not a bill," that is not sufficient.

Harried office managers eager to clear out in-boxes can fall for these scams and wind up paying for goods or services that were never received or rendered. They might pass it on to Tim over in Accounting for a second look, but chances are just as good that they will whip out the checkbook and send it off, especially if it is for under $100.

Will President Trump roll back legal pot usage in Oregon?

Not much is known about how President Trump will approach the issue of marijuana in states like Oregon that have made recreational usage legal. In the months since the election, the only constant about our incoming commander-in-chief has been his inconsistency regarding his potential policies.

Perhaps most worrisome is Trump's choice of attorney general. He selected avowed anti-marijuana crusader Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama who has been quite vocal about his views on the legalization of pot.

Authorities seek bank robbery suspect's identity

Both the local Salem police as well as agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation are seeking clues to the identity of the individual who robbed the Oregon State Credit Union on January 4. The public has been asked to assist authorities with naming the suspect.

At 6 p.m. on Wednesday, a 40-ish white male walked into the branch at 510 Wallace Road Northwest. Police estimate him to be between 5'10" and 6' with a medium build. He wore light-colored blue jeans, a heavy, darker blue coat, dark boots and a black mask and beanie on his head. His hands were covered in dark gloves. He was armed with what looked like a dark-colored semi-automatic pistol.

Go phish! How a wrong click can land you in hot water

When some people go "phishing," they don't need a pole. But they do dangle bait of the digital kind in hopes of hooking a big one on their line.

Most phishing scams are white collar crimes that focus on identity theft. Hackers devise web pages and emails that look very much like a legitimate financial institute's or business's actual site or email. But instead of taking you to that site, if the target clicks onto the false link, they wind up entering all of their information into the spoofed website's data bank to be used later for nefarious purposes.

What is mortgage fraud?

One of the crimes investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation is mortgage fraud. As one of the crimes that comes under the umbrella of financial institution fraud, mortgage fraud is characterized by misrepresentations, omissions or material misstatements related to the generation of a mortgage loan.

This could be some lie that influences the lending institution's decision to approve or deny the mortgage loan initially. But it could also come about later in the process, such as if the homeowner fabricates a story or a document in order to get their lender to accept an amount that is less than the full payoff, or agree to otherwise restructure the terms of the mortgage.

Could you be charged with conspiracy?

When two or more individuals act together to break the law, charges of conspiracy can result. It's common for law enforcement to seek out the weakest link in the alleged conspiracy, make the arrest and attempt to pressure the defendant to cooperate with the prosecution.

This is done for a couple of reasons. First, the cooperation of one defendant in turning state's evidence against the other defendant(s) makes the prosecution's case a good bit easier to prove to a judge or jury.

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