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U.S. Supreme Court Holds Warrantless Search by Drug-Sniffing Dogs at Front Porch Constitutes Unreasonable Search

On March 26, the U.S. Supreme Court (the “Court”) held that the Miami-Dade law enforcement officers conducted a trespassory invasion when they used a drug-sniffing dog at the front door of a suspected marijuana dealer’s home without obtaining a search warrant, and that this invasion constituted an unreasonable search and a violation of the suspected dealer’s Fourth Amendment rights. The decision in Florida v. Jardines, --- S. Ct. ----, 2013 WL 1196577 (U.S. Mar. 26, 2013), will have an impact on how law enforcement agencies in Florida conduct K-9 searches.

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Categories: LitigationFederal LawFederal CourtsConstitutional LawCriminal Law
Tags: Florida Supreme CourtFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Constitutional Law AttorneysMiami Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida LitigatorsFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

United Central Bank Borrower Declared a Fugitive

Recently, a federal judge in Chicago declared Boca Raton developer Atul Bisaria a fugitive after he failed to appear for his arraignment on numerous criminal charges. In 2012, U.S. attorneys filed an indictment against Bisaria, alleging that he secured millions of dollars from two Chicago area banks, Broadway Bank and Mutual Bank, for renovations at two hotel properties. Prosecutors allege that Bisaria would submit phony invoices for steel to be used in the renovations, but that no construction work was ever done on the properties. The indictment further alleged that Bisaria would use the proceeds of the loan for personal expenses and other business ventures.

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Categories: LitigationCriminal Law
Tags: Jamie A. ColeEric P. HockmanMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaFort Lauderdale Business Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Business Litigation LawyersMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Commercial Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation LawyersMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsFlorida Commercial Litigation LawyerFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Litigation AttorneyJohn J. Quick
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

Bisaria Declared Fugitive After Failing to Appear for Arraignment

On January 25, a federal judge in Chicago declared Boca Raton developer Atul Bisara a fugitive after Bisaria failed to appear for his arraignment on fraud charges. In October, federal prosecutors filed an indictment against Bisaria and his contractor, Steve Lewis, alleging that both men engaged in a scheme to defraud two Chicago area banks and obtain money and property by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, promises and material omissions. Specifically, the indictment alleged that Bisara and Lewis created false invoices for $1.9 million in steel to be used in the renovation of a Boca Raton hotel. Bisaria’s companies received loans from Broadway Bank and Mutual Bank to fund the project. However, the steel was never delivered and no work had been completed. The indictment further alleged that Bisaria used the proceeds of the loans for personal expenses and failed real estate ventures.

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Categories: LitigationContractsCriminal Law
Tags: Jamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesEric P. HockmanMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaFort Lauderdale Business Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Business Litigation LawyersMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Commercial Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Commercial Litigation LawyerMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsWhite Collar CrimeFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysMiami Litigation AttorneyJohn J. Quick
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

News of Bisaria Indictment Reaches South Florida Papers

As we reported in our blog last week, the Chicago Tribune reached out to WSH Member and Miami-Dade Partner-in-Charge Michael S. Popok for his reaction to the recent indictments of Boca Raton developer Atul Bisaria and contractor Steve Lewis, who are charged with defrauding Chicago’s Mutual Bank and Broadway Bank out of more than $19 million in loans. WSH represents United Central Bank, the successor to Mutual Bank, in a related foreclosure.

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Categories: LitigationFederal LawFederal CourtsCriminal Law
Tags: Jamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesEric P. HockmanMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaFort Lauderdale Business Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Business Litigation LawyersMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Commercial Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation LawyersMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsFlorida Commercial Litigation LawyerFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Litigation AttorneyJohn J. Quick
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

Former Broward Teachers’ Union President Arrested for Numerous Offenses Against Union

On Tuesday, former Broward Teachers’ Union (“BTU”) President Pat Santeramo surrendered to authorities after he was charged with racketeering, grand theft, campaign contribution violations and money laundering. The arrest warrant alleges that Mr. Santeramo charged union credit cards for personal expenses, fraudulently obtained compensation for sick and vacation leave that he was not entitled to, and orchestrated an illegal campaign contribution scheme under which BTU members would be reimbursed with union funds after writing checks to political candidates. Mr. Santeramo is also charged with receiving numerous kickbacks from South Florida vendors while billing the union for the incurred expenses.

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentGovernment AffairsLocal GovernmentCriminal Law
Tags: Public EmployeesPublic EmployersMunicipal GovernmentEthicsSpecial Counsel to Local GovernmentMitchell A. BiermanJamie A. ColeChad S. FriedmanAlan L. GabrielBrett J. SchneiderRichard Jay WeissDavid M. WolpinFort Lauderdale Local Government LawSouth Florida Local Government LawFort Lauderdale Governmental Affairs AttorneysMiami Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Governmental Affairs AttorneysFort Lauderdale Municipal AttorneysMiami Municipal AttorneysSouth Florida Municipal AttorneysFort Lauderdale Employment Law AttorneysMiami Employment Law AttorneysSouth Florida Employment Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale Labor Law AttorneysMiami Labor Law AttorneysSouth Florida Labor Law AttorneysFlorida Employment AttorneysFlorida Labor LawyersFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneySouth Florida Employment Lawyers
Author(s): Michael S. Popok & Brooke P. Dolara

Steven Lippman, Former Partner and Close Ally of Scott Rothstein, Charged with Conspiracy to Commit Bank Fraud and Election Fraud

Federal prosecutors indicted Steven Lippman, a former partner of Scott Rothstein at Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler, has been indicted in an alleged conspiracy to commit bank fraud and to violate federal election laws. The information charging Lippman with violating the Federal Campaign Act alleges that Lippman schemed with Rothstein “to dramatically increase the stature and political power” of Rothstein’s law firm by making large campaign contributions to several political candidates. The information also alleges that Lippman participated in check kiting and pocketed the excess funds drawn from the inflated checks among his co-conspirators. The information also alleges Lippman defrauded the Internal Revenue Service by failing to report these reimbursements as taxable income. If convicted of all charges, Lippman faces up to five years in federal prison.

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Categories: LitigationFederal LawFederal CourtsCriminal Law
Tags: Jamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsWhite Collar CrimeFlorida Litigation AttorneysMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

Bloomberg BusinessWeek Interviews Michael Popok For Feature on Ponzi Schemer Scott Rothstein

Self-confessed thief and admitted liar Scott Rothstein continues to make national news for the fallout of his $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme. Bloomberg BusinessWeek, a national publication, recently ran an article detailing Rothstein’s allegations in his explosive December 2011 deposition testimony.

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Categories: LitigationFederal LawEthics & Professional ResponsibilityCriminal Law
Tags: EthicsJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaFort Lauderdale Business Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Business Litigation LawyersMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Commercial Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation LawyersMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsWhite Collar CrimeDepositionsFlorida Commercial Litigation LawyerFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

Supreme Court Gives Death Row Inmate Relief Due to Big Law Firm Mailroom Screwup

On Wednesday, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Maples v. Thomas that a death row inmate in Alabama must be given another chance to file an appeal after his attorneys abandoned their representation of the defendant, failing to notify the court of their departure and consequently missing the filing deadline for an important appeal.

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Categories: LitigationAppellate Law & PracticeFederal LawFederal CourtsConstitutional LawCivil ProcedureCriminal Law
Tags: Jamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaLaura K. WendellMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale Appellate Law AttorneysMiami Appellate Law AttorneysSouth Florida Appellate Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Constitutional Law AttorneysMiami Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida LitigatorsEleventh Circuit Court of AppealsFlorida Commercial Litigation LawyerFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

Rothstein Continues to Lie; Media Excoriates Him Over Dubious Deposition Testimony

In his recent deposition testimony, confessed liar and Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein hurled unsubstantiated accusations at executives and bankers, alleging they were complicit in his $1.2 million Ponzi scheme.

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Categories: LitigationCriminal Law
Tags: Jamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaFort Lauderdale Business Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Business Litigation LawyersSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation LawyersMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsWhite Collar CrimeDepositions
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

Disbarred Attorney Scott Rothstein Attacks Gibraltar Bank in Deposition; WSH Member Michael Popok Fires Back

Ponzi schemer and disbarred attorney Scott Rothstein returned to South Florida recently to give testimony concerning his illegal activities. Specifically, the confessed liar and scammer made allegations about the alleged role of other individuals and institutions in his money-laundering crimes. One of these individuals, former Gibraltar Private Bank & Trust Vice President John Harris, has retained WSH Partner-in-Charge Michael S. Popok to defend him against the accusations made by Rothstein. The South Florida Business Journal recently interviewed Michael in connection with their reporting on Rothstein’s deposition testimony.

To read a copy of the article click here.

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Categories: LitigationCriminal Law
Tags: Jamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsWhite Collar CrimeDepositions
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara