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Former coach sentenced in St. Louis for conspiracy, wire fraud

A women’s basketball coach pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges last week involving an alleged car theft and insurance scam. Federal prosecutors say that the Kansas resident, who was previously a basketball coach at Southeast Missouri State University, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and mail fraud charges in a federal courtroom in St. Louis, Missouri. In exchange for the guilty plea, prosecutors agreed to drop additional charges listed in the indictment.

Authorities say that the coach was involved in a ring that took cars from dealerships and owners in Missouri and three other states. The scheme included creating false reports that the cars had been stolen, which were intended to be used to obtain insurance benefits, according to prosecutors. Authorities say that the coach pleaded guilty to allegations that the scheme also involved the resale of the cars using transfer titles fraudulently obtained from the Osage Nation.

Federal prosecutors may seek indictments using the mail and wire fraud statutes in many types of cases. The wire and mail fraud statutes can be shoe-horned to apply when prosecutors allege that electronic communications or the use of the mails has been used in furtherance of a scheme to allegedly defraud another of cash or property. These types of charges may stand alone, or be tacked on to a wide variety of other charges.

White collar defense lawyers understand that when federal charges are involved, the stakes can be high. When federal officials open an investigation, a person may become aware of the probe before an indictment is handed down. Anyone suspected of criminal allegations may seek representation. If a person is not represented when an indictment is unsealed, it is paramount that he or she consults a federal criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.

Source: Hutchinson News, “Basketball coach pleads guilty in car theft ring," Associated Press, April 2, 2014

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