Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Kansas Lawyer Steals $52.5 million gets three years in Prision

I saw this just come across the web on CBS Money Watch.  Looks like a Lawyer in  Leawood Kansas is looking at doing 3 years for conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud.  After reading a few comment in the article I kind of have to agree with some of the statements.  I am usually one for being a little easier on people that have been convicted of a crime, but this seems like a light sentence in my opinion. (and that's coming from a criminal defense lawyer)

Someone pointed out that you get a far worse punishment for armed robbery than this person is going to get for stealing over $50 million dollars.  That doesn't seem to make much since to me, but it also doesn't make much sense how you can expunge a armed robbery after five years but you have to wait for 10 years to expunge a simple DUI charge.

Many things don't particularly make since in the law until you look at it from a political stance.  No one is in the legislature championing the idea we need to be easier on criminals, but its always a sure fire way to get votes to say lets be tougher on criminals.

Just a little food for thought.

Here is the article.

Kansas Lawyer Sentenced to 3 years for Ponzi Scheme

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas attorney faces three years in prison for his role in a scheme that bilked investors out of about $52 million.

James Scott Brown of Leawood, Kan. pleaded guilty earlier to participating in a conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud. He was sentenced Tuesday to three years in prison without parole and ordered to pay $34 million in restitution.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Kansas City says investors loaned about $52.5 million through the scheme known as the British Lending Program. Victims thought they were loaning money for real estate projects, but Brown and two other men kept most of the money.

Martin Sigillito of Webster Groves, Mo., is awaiting sentencing after being convicted of leading the conspiracy. Derek Smith, of Oxfordshire, England, pleaded guilty and awaits sentencing.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Poker Runs, and Charity Raffles are illegal in Kansas

It's a game of chance.  That's that the law says, so it's illegal.  No more charity poker runs or raffles for a good cause.  Seems pretty silly to me.  Here is the article.

This should be the type of thing that is allowed...I wonder if one of the casinos could sponsor the thing.

Poker Runs, Charity Raffles Banned In Kansas

Poker runs have become very popular fundraisers, but they are also technically illegal in the state of Kansas. They are considered gambling under state law. Organizers of many such events say this is news to them. According to Kansas gaming law, any activity that involves consideration, chance and prize is gambling. The Kansas Lottery and state-owned casinos are exempt, but charities are not. Kansas is one of just four states without a charity exemption in gambling statutes. "We're a nonprofit organization," said Shane Toney, President of Fire and Iron Station 54, which organizes an annual poker run. "We're trying to help as many people as we can. Toney and other organizers are now scrambling to change the event to it is legal. "We're doing a lot of charity work and we didn't mean to step on gaming laws, but it seems like we are now," he said. 
"Maybe there's a loophole that needs to be sown up in the Kansas gaming laws to help out charities." According to those state gaming laws, poker runs -- fundraisers where motorcycle riders draw a card at five stops and the best poker hand wins -- are illegal. Raffle drawings can be illegal, too. Kansas gaming law has prompted the organizers of the Thunder on the Plains motorcycle rally in Dodge City to cancel this year's event, which was scheduled for next weekend. "We give away a bike every year and we sell chances for the bike giveaway," said Mel Watson, director of the rally. "This year, the gaming commission came down and said, 'It's illegal in Kansas, it is gambling, it is a game of chance.'" Watson said Thunder on the Plains has raised more than $60,000 for the families of southwest Kansas military members over the last six years. "It's for good causes and they're putting the stop to us," Watson said. "This law has been on the books for, I guess, a few years and they haven't enforced it." 
Organizers of Thunder on the Plains learned about the law too late to make any changes for this year's event, but Watson promised the rally will be back in 2013. "We are planning on having a rally next year, in the later part of August and, one way or another, we're going to do it," he said. "We're bound and determined to do it." As for the Fire and Iron poker run, this year's event will happen as scheduled Sept. 8. "Our event is still planned and we're working to make it a game of skill and stay compliant within the Kansas gaming laws," Toney said. The state says the best way to keep a poker run within the law is to remove the element of chance by having participants throw a dart at cards on a board. Many charity organizers say they will be pushing for a change in Kansas law.
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