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Statute of Limitation Bars Organized Fraud Prosecution

Statute of Limitation Bars Organized Fraud Prosecution

J.E. was arrested on November 18, 2005, for organized fraud and two counts of third degree grand theft. These charges arose in Indian River County, Florida. He subsequently retained Jeffrey H. Garland as his attorney .

A preliminary evaluation of the case concluded that the charges arose from a relationship between the defendant and the “victims” in 1999 – 2000. The arrest warrant was assigned Case No. 2001-1165 only because the warrant issued in 2001.

The preliminary evaluation showed that the defendant had remained a long time resident of the Treasure Coast and had, in fact, continued to reside at the same address. The defendant had not secreted himself, left the State, and had not attempted to make his “whereabouts unknown”. Thus, the defense presented the Statute of Limitations as a viable defense which would warrant a bond reduction.

The limitation period for grand theft and organized fraud in Florida is five years. The five year limitation period may be extended for not more than three additional years if the defendant had secreted himself, left the State or made his whereabouts unknown. The defense investigation developed evidence which established that the charges were time barred.

The defendant at all times maintained his innocense on these charges. It was far more efficient, however, to establish that the charges were time barred. With the factors in mind, the State filed a written “No Information” on December 20, 2005.

State v. J.F.E., Indian River County Case No. 01-CF-1165.