Most probably assume that crimes with severe consequences for conviction are violent in nature. This is not true however, particularly when charges are at a federal level. A couple from the Orlando area is facing that reality right now. They were recently found guilty of fraud against elderly people who were their clients.
The couple, who was at one point married, reportedly took money from their clients on the pretense of placing it in a trust that could be used to pay for the basics while still making it possible for their 26 elderly clients to obtain Medicaid. In total, the couple received $4.7 million. Of that amount they took $2.9 million and used it to fund other businesses and to make a down payment on a building located in Kissimmee.
As a result of the conviction the woman, a former attorney, was sentenced to two years in a state prison. Her former husband will be on probation for five years. The consequences tied to the crime do not end there however. They were also charged in federal court where consequences are often more severe. Earlier this month, rather than go through another trial, the two agreed to plead guilty to the federal charges. They have yet to be sentenced for the crime. It is likely that they will face time in prison for this plea, possibly up to 10 years each.
It is unclear why the couple decided to take a plea in the federal case rather than go to trial. It is highly likely that the decision was an educated one however that was made after consulting with a criminal defense lawyer.
Source: Orlando Sentinel, "Kissimmee couple face 10 years in prison for defrauding elderly clients," Susan Jacobson, May 1, 2013