Rare Resolution in Federal White Collar Case

Stradley Ronon attorneys Mike Engle and Ashley Shapiro handled the representation of a client who was scheduled to be indicted for felony wire fraud in connection with an internet diploma mill business, a website where people could obtain fake degrees from fake universities. When Mike and Ashley took this case, their client was facing a federal felony indictment, sentencing guidelines recommending approximately five years in federal prison, at least $747,000 in restitution and the likelihood of a substantial fine. Mike was able to effectively negotiate with the government and establish that their client’s accountability should be limited to only certain matters within the context of the internet business. Ashley handled the sentencing preparations and provided the court with the outstanding written advocacy needed to support their client’s case.

As a result of Mike’s and Ashley’s advocacy, the client eventually received a plea agreement for four misdemeanor counts of aiding and abetting the submission of false information to the government, and was sentenced in federal court to just three years of probation and a negotiated fine of $350,000 to be paid out over five years in installments. Misdemeanor case resolutions are extremely rare in federal cases. This was only the seventh misdemeanor case filed in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania during 2017.

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