By: Carrie Bennice / Date: 13, September 2019

All Rise. Congratulations to the Cleveland Public Theatre

Congratulations to the Cleveland Public Theatre for another successful Pandemonium event last weekend! We are proud to support CPT and their artistic expression through theatre, dance, visual and performance art.

By: Carrie Bennice / Date: 06, September 2019

Evaluate Your Compliance Program before the Government Does It For You

The federal government this week, in investigating a company’s alleged faulty billing procedures, has not only proposed a hefty $127 million-dollar settlement payment from the company, but is demanding they participate in a comprehensive compliance program drafted by the Inspector General’s office. This week, Universal Health Services, Inc., is negotiating a compliance agreement with the federal government in an effort to settle alleged criminal allegations of billing fraud. With the strict scrutiny and regulations businesses are facing from the government,… Read more

By: Carrie Bennice / Date: 29, August 2019

Flannery | Georgalis Secures Dismissal of all Criminal Charges for International Cannabis Industry Client

Earlier this week, Flannery | Georgalis successfully resolved the criminal prosecution of an Internationally-based cannabis company’s employee with a dismissal of all criminal charges. While travelling in Ohio, the employee was arrested and charged with obstruction and drug-related offenses. After challenging the validity of the charges and the legality of law enforcement’s conduct, the prosecution agreed to dismiss all criminal charges. As the cannabis industry continues to expand, federal and state law enforcement officials are paying close attention. Criminal investigations… Read more

By: Carrie Bennice / Date: 19, August 2019

What Constitutes a Legitimate Threat of Violence?

Last week an 18 year old Boardman, Ohio resident instructed followers to attack federal agents on social media. In a recent article on Cleveland.com, attorney Chris Georgalis discussed challenges prosecutors face in these types of matters balancing First Amendment rights and criminal violations regarding online threats: https://www.cleveland.com/court-justice/2019/08/ohio-mass-shooting-threat-what-is-the-fine-line-between-lulz-and-legitimate-threats-of-violence.html Read more

By: Carrie Bennice / Date: 12, August 2019

DOJ and DEA Use Aggressive Tactics to Combat Opioid Epidemic

The Department of Justice is combating the opioid crisis by now holding opioid distributors and manufacturers criminally liable. An Ohio-based drug manufacturer was recently indicted for Conspiracy to Distribute and Dispense a Controlled Substance. In the past, the DOJ imposed administrative fines and penalties against distributors and manufacturers to enforce drug laws, but due to the overwhelming number of opioid related overdoses and deaths, the DOJ and U.S. Attorney’s Offices are moving toward more aggressive tactics. In addition, the DEA… Read more

By: Carrie Bennice / Date: 29, July 2019

IRS Issues Virtual Currency Warning Letters

Last Friday, the Internal Revenue Service began issuing letters to taxpayers who trade virtual currency warning that they may have failed to report income and pay taxes owed. “Taxpayers should take these letters very seriously by reviewing their tax filings and when appropriate, amend past returns and pay back taxes, interest and penalties,” said IRS commissioner Charles Rettig in a statement. The tax implications vary depending on whether an individual sold, received, were paid in, or mined cryptocurrency. The IRS… Read more

By: Carrie Bennice / Date: 25, July 2019

Ohio Task Force Examines Bail System

The Supreme Court of Ohio Task Force to Examine the Ohio Bail System recently submitted to Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor a 25-page Report proposing nine recommendations to Ohio’s current bail system. The 30 member Task Force comprised of highly regarded members of the Ohio criminal justice community proposed recommendations designed to make a more fair and cost-effective jail system. The recommendations include judicial access to quality risk-assessment tools, representation at initial appearances and additional education and training… Read more

By: Carrie Bennice / Date: 11, July 2019

The ILLICIT CASH Act

The Senate is discussing a new piece of legislation to enhance and modernize federal anti-money laundering (AML) and combating the financing of terrorism (CFT) laws. The Improving Laundering Laws and Increasing Comprehensive Information Tracking of Criminal Activity in Shell Holdings Act (the “ILLICIT CASH Act”) proposes new reporting requirements for beneficial ownership information as well as improving resources available to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). Currently, the onus is on financial institutions to identify beneficial owners (“BO”) at the… Read more

By: Carrie Bennice / Date: 28, June 2019

House Bill 1

Recently, the Ohio House of Representatives passed legislation that re-emphasizes rehabilitation over incarceration. Ohio House Bill 1 broadens the scope of “Intervention in Lieu of Conviction” by requiring an eligibility hearing in any case where the offender alleges that drug or alcohol usage was a factor leading to the underlying offense. Further, H.B. 1 expands the sealing/expungement eligibility by removing the eligibility cap on fourth and fifth degree felony offenses: https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/leg…/legislation-documents… Read more

By: Carrie Bennice / Date: 25, June 2019

The Taxpayer First Act

The Taxpayer First Act (TFA), which the House passed on June 10, 2019, and the Senate passed on June 13, 2019 will enhance the IRS’ ability to combat tax fraud. The whistleblower provisions in the TFA protect whistleblowers from retaliation and improve the IRS whistleblower program by authorizing the IRS to communicate with whistleblowers during the processing of their claims, while also protecting taxpayer privacy. The TFA also includes several provisions protecting taxpayers and modernizing and reforming the IRS. Those… Read more