This past Wednesday, the 3rd of August, a 51-year-old woman was booked into the Palm Beach County jail on charges that she had forged more than $23,000 worth of checks. This news caught the attention of all criminal defense lawyers, who defend against fraud charges in Florida. Donna Allen, the accused, had allegedly stolen the checks from an elderly couple she worked as a driver for.
Fraud, traditionally a white-collar crime that occurs at the corporate level, also makes the occasional appearance in cases such as this. As a Miami criminal defense attorney, I am very familiar with defending clients against accusations of fraud, and it is clear to me that Ms. Allen would be best served by securing the services of a competent criminal defense lawyer because white collar crime is now receiving the same sort of attention that other forms of crime have long-received.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office probable cause arrest affidavit states that Allen is allegedly responsible for forging forty-six checks from three separate bank accounts belonging to Rosanna and Albert Springer of Lake Worth, Florida. She was charged with forty-six counts each of forgery, of uttering a forged instrument, and one count each of grand theft from a person 65 years of age or older and of organizing a scheme to defraud. Her bail has been set at $286,000. The guilt of Ms. Allen apparently does not remain in question, making it the job of a qualified criminal defense lawyer to secure for her the best treatment possible.
These charges are not only extremely numerous, but very serious, and can carry heavy jail time. As a Miami criminal defense attorney living during this period that has seen the judicial system grow more and more strict, I fully understand the likely fate awaiting Ms. Allen should she not receive fair treatment under the law. Those individuals charged with fraud do not receive much sympathy from society, and notably less when the victims are an elderly couple. The role of the criminal defense lawyer in a case such as this becomes the protection of his or her client from an excess of punishment.
Allen had been receiving ten dollars an hour in cash to drive around the late Mr. Springer during the day, and told investigators she had receive multiple legitimate checks from the couple. She has admitted to the police that she forged Mr. Springer’s name on several checks to herself and others. Once, she took a check he had given to her and changed the amount from $300 to $3,000. Especially given the amount of evidence held against her, it is of utmost important that Ms. Allen seek a capable criminal defense lawyer.