Justia White Collar Crime Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Washington Supreme Court

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Diana Merritt was convicted of ten counts of mortgage fraud in 2015. The actual crimes were committed between 2008 and 2009, but law enforcement did not discover the extent of those crimes until 2014. Merritt argued the charging document did not sufficiently provide information that the alleged charges occurred within the applicable statute of limitations. She also argued failure to comply with the statute of limitations constituted a violation of her due process rights. The Court of Appeals affirmed Merritt's convictions, and finding no reversible error, so too did the Washington Supreme Court. View "Washington v. Merritt" on Justia Law

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An employee of a nonprofit serving disabled adult clients used her position to embezzle more than half a million dollars held by the nonprofit for its clients. After the embezzlement was discovered, Travelers Casualty & Surety Company, the nonprofit's insurance company, made the nonprofit whole. Travelers then sought contribution from the bank in federal court. By submitting certified questions of Washington law, that court has asked the Washington Supreme Court to decide, among other things, whether a nonpayee's signature on the back of a check was an indorsement. Furthermore, the Court was also asked whether claims based on unauthorized indorsements that are not discovered and reported to a bank within one year of being made available to the customer are time barred. The Supreme Court answered yes to both questions. View "Travelers Cas. & Sur. Co. v. Wash. Trust Bank" on Justia Law

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Petitioner Michael Reeder appealed a Court of Appeals decision affirming his conviction on 14 counts of securities fraud and 14 counts of theft in the first degree. He argued: (1) subpoenas duces tecum issued by a special inquiry judge (SIJ) to financial institutions for Reeder's private bank records violated his constitutional rights under article I, section 7 of the Washington Constitution; and (2) his sentence violated principles of double jeopardy because the trial court imposed multiple punishments for the same offense. Finding no reversible error, the Supreme Court affirmed Reeder's conviction and sentence. View "Washington v. Reeder" on Justia Law