Samuel Goldberg has been a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney for 20 years. Prior to that, he was a New York state prosecutor. He has published various articles regarding the practice of criminal law and frequently provides legal analysis on radio and television, appearing on outlets such as the Fox News Channel, Court TV, MSNBC and The BBC Network. To speak to Sam about a criminal matter call (617) 492 3000.

BRAINTREE MAN IS ARRESTED ON WARRANT AFTER PRETENDING TO BE “ON DUTY” MILITARY TO GET A RIDE

Now, we all know that, generally, it is not nice to lie. Further, we have discussed in the past that lying to police in a criminal investigation is actually a felony.

There are other times, of course, where the lying itself is actually considered a Massachusetts white collar crime, namely, criminal fraud.

Christopher Keefe, a 28-year-gent from Braintree (hereinafter, the “Defendant”), has gotten himself in trouble because of an apparent shaky relationship with the truth.

According to law enforcement, the Defendant approached a customer service agent at the Massachusetts Avenue MBTA station just before 7:00pm last night. He presented himself as being on “active duty” with the military and sought to get a free trip on the T.

It did not go as planned.

In truth, he was not such a member of the armed services.

In truth, there was a warrant out for his arrest in connection with a previous arrest for assault and battery on an elderly person (presumably not an enemy combatant).

In truth, he got his free ride, but it was to the Transit Police Headquarters for booking.

Attorney Sam’s Take On Truth, Falsehoods And Crime

The impersonation of certain people is, in itself a crime. For example, impersonating a police officer is a crime. Getting charged with impersonating some professionals often depends upon what you do as said professionals.

For example, walking down the street dressed up as a priest, in itself, is not likely to bring criminal charges. However, start taking donations for your nonexistent church and it is a different story. In some stories from last year, we discussed cases of fraud in which folks pretended to be linked to something falsely. For example, there were allegedly people who pretended to be wounded in the Boston Marathon bombing in hopes to collect funds. Instead, they ended up collecting criminal charges.

We have also read about many other kinds of fraud which have long been crimes. These would involve lying (usually under oath) on documents in order to get funds to which the truth would render the recipient unentitled. Such crimes include Medicare Fraud, Insurance Fraud and the like.

One area which has always been tricky is the free-market act of puffery vs. misrepresentation. Often, it is a fine line between the too. In days gone by, someone who was misrepresenting the glories of her product simply had to worry about being sued by unhappy consumers. These days, such consumers are often represented by the local Attorney General or some other law enforcement agency and criminal prosecution becomes a very real possibility.

Almost everyone understands that lying in court while giving sworn testimony is the crime of perjury. Unfortunately, the prosecution of this crime depends largely on the whim of the prosecution unit involved. Generally, if someone lies on the stand in such a way as to impede the prosecution…the prosecution will often retaliate by bringing perjury charges. Particularly in big cases, such as murder. However, in cases where someone is found to have lied in order to help the prosecution, such as lying in the first place in the bringing of criminal charges, folks are seldom, if ever, prosecuted.

Do you find that strange? When you lie to the police during an investigation, you can be, and often are, charged with a felony crime. If the prosecution believes you have lied to help a “bad guy”, you may well be prosecuted. However, if you manage to bamboozle the prosecution into fighting your cause, and that cause turns out to be untrue…it is a crime that, in reality, has little to no chance of being prosecuted.

And yet…it is the prosecution which is responsible for trying to “do justice”.

Irony seems to dwell quite comfortably in the halls of Justice.

To read the original story upon which this blog is based please go to http://boston.cbslocal.com/2014/02/19/bid-to-ride-mbta-on-bogus-military-coattails-lands-man-in-jail/

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