Massachusetts Assault And Robbery Lead To Arrest For White Collar Crime And Possible Federal Prosecution

Recovery from a long weekend, such as the Thanksgiving weekend we have just enjoyed, can mean different things to different people. For me, for example, it meant waking up yesterday not being able to get online and so not posting my blog (sorry about that, by the way). For Sonny T., 21, of Wareham (hereinafter referred to as the “Defendant”), it meant being in contact with his new criminal defense attorney and dealing with fallout from some alleged indiscretions over the holiday.

These indiscretions include criminal charges such as counterfeiting, armed robbery and assault.

According to the Commonwealth, the Defendant was not in the most thankful of moods last Thursday night when he met up with two people he knew at an oil change business.

Violently unthankful.

According to police, the Defendant called two people he knew and asked to meet them at the oil change business. When they showed up, he allegedly approached them as they were still seated in the front seat with the motor running. The Defendant is then said to have reached into the vehicle, turned the ignition off and assaulted the driver.

The police were called and the Defendant was quickly found at his home, hiding behind a shed in the backyard. Acting in manner consistent with the evening’s apparent mindset, he struggled with the police as they arrested him.

the surprise came when the Defendant was being searched at the police station. The Commonwealth claims that, upon searching the Defendant, they found a cigarette package containing paper money. Upon closer examination by the booking officer, the money was found to be counterfeit.

And so it was that the Defendant begins his December charged with possession of counterfeit notes, assault and battery, intimidating a witness and armed robbery. He was arraigned Friday morning at Wareham District Court.

While local police are continuing their investigation, they are being assisted by the federal folks at the United States Secret Service with the counterfeit note charge.

Attorney Sam’s Take:

Clearly, there is still much we do not know about the Defendant’s nasty night. However, there are a few things we can surmise.

For example, he is an alleged member of the “Hey, I’ll Bet I Can Make This Situation Worse” Club. We know this because we know that, after the police came looking for him and found him, he is said to have fought with them.

We have discussed such things many times. Bad move. Defendant loses in many different ways.

We also know that the Defendant did not apparently have any concern about the police being called. He called people that he knew to meet him, including arranging for an eyewitness to be provided. Not your typical robbery.

And then there is the counterfeit money. Counterfeiting is a white collar crime.

Because it involves the United States Treasury, it is usually treated as a federal crime. You may be wondering why the Defendant, knowing he was being arrested, had counterfeit money in his pocket, basically raising the level of trouble he was about to be in.

Another example of …unwise…behavior? Maybe. Intentional or not, however, it does present an interesting twist to the matter.

Now, I do not know these people and I have no more information about the facts than you do. However, let me present an interesting scenario. What if the money in the Defendant’s pocket was there because he did not know that it was counterfeit? What if said money is what his alleged victim reported stolen by the Defendant? Well, that would make the Defendant a witness to the victim having counterfeit money, wouldn’t it?

You don’t like it? What if the Defendant had had a business transaction with said victim, and said victim had paid him with what the Defendant later found out was counterfeit money? This was his motive to set up the meeting and when said victim refused to give real money, the assault occurred. What if this is why he actually wanted the witness to be there and the money tro be found on him.

Now, neither of these scenarios excuse that assault. But, they do make the Defendant either a witness or actual victim in the counterfeit case.

“But, Sam, how would that change things? The Defendant is still charged with assault and robbery.”

You would be surprised how often cooperating in a larger case helps someone facing lesser charges. It is possible that such scenarios could help the Defendant either get a “good deal” from the Commonwealth or even out of trouble completely.

Federal prosecutors usually trump state prosecutors. Therefore, it may be possible for the Defendant to make a deal with the feds to get a break from the state charges in exchange for cooperating with the federal investigation.

Of course, the federal investigators would have to be convinced that the Defendant was being truthful. It being the actual truth would help.

In any event, this reflects why, if looking at such charges, a defendant, or defendant-to-be wants to have an experienced criminal defense attorney. No, not to make up stories. That is not what we do. However, when presented with the set of facts, to know their worth. A lesser experienced attorney might not realize the value of such a history to this matter and keep it to him or herself until trial…when it would probably be rejected by both prosecutor and jury.

So, do yourself, or someone in trouble who you care about, a favor. Get an experienced attorney to advise and represent. If you would like to discuss your options and potential representation with me, please feel free to call me at (617) 206-1942.

For the full article upon which today’s blog is based, go to

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