Former lawyer J. Fitzgerald O’Connor Jr., of Columbia, South Carolina, was sentenced last week in U.S. District Court in Columbia for conspiracy to commit mail fraud and money laundering.
U.S. District Judge Margaret B. Seymour sentenced the 64-year-old O’Connor to two years in prison and, as a part of his sentence, ordered him to pay $483,250 in restitution and to forfeit certain assets, according to a press release by U.S. Attorney William Nettles.
O’Connor had previously pled guilty on Aug. 24, 2010, and admitted to being involved in a conspiracy to liquidate and conceal money and property which had been stolen by a former client, William J. Trier II, from his employer Dixie Narco-Crane Co.
Michael D. Shavo, O’Connor’s former law partner, also of Columbia, SC, was also sentenced to five years of probation for lying to federal law enforcement agents in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001. Shavo pled guilty on Sept. 9, 2010. One other attorney involved in the same scheme, John W. Harte Jr. of Aiken was previously sentenced to one year and one day of imprisonment.Harte and O’Connor had assisted Trier in laundering embezzled funds from Trier’s former employer, Crane Co., a vending machine manufacturing company in Aiken County.
In January 2007, Trier was terminated from the company as its director of logistics in the shipping department. From 1997 through January 2007, he had embezzled funds from Crane by creating phony invoices from two fictitious freight transport companies and submitting them to Crane for payment.
He used his position to approve the payment of the fraudulent invoices, and received company payments mailed to a Post Office box he had opened as the mailing address for the phantom companies. Over a 10-year period, Trier collected approximately $5.2 million using the false invoice scam. When Trier learned that he was under investigation, he contacted Harte to help him hide assets, according to the federal prosecutor. Harte said he enlisted the help of O’Connor.
Trier pled guilty to mail fraud and money laundering on April 30, 2008, and was sentenced to 63 months of imprisonment, ordered to pay $5.27 million in restitution, and to forfeit millions of dollars in assets.
South Carolina Criminal Attorney Joe Griffith understands the federal and state mail fraud statutes, federal sentencing guidelines, and case law involved with mail fraud and wire fraud. The Joe Griffith Law Firm is a Charleston, SC law firm that focuses on criminal litigation and mail fraud.
We represent those accused of criminal misdemeanors and/or felonies in a variety of state and federal proceedings including, but not limited to, initial appearances, preliminary hearings, bond hearings, trials, sentencing hearings, parole hearings, probation hearings, and appeals. We represent those designated “witnesses,” “subjects” or “targets” of grand jury criminal investigations, and have the experience to know when to assert 5th Amendment rights, make effective “proffer” statements, or demand immunity from government prosecutors. We are extremely effective in conducting pre-indictment investigations to gather and analyze evidence in order to make factual and legal presentations to prosecutors in an effort to persuade them to issue a declination whereby they agree to not indict a person or company under criminal investigation. We have been successful in having investigations declined pre-indictment. In the event of an indictment or other criminal charge, our attorneys stand ready to fight for our client and protect his or her legal rights to the fullest extent of the law.
If you or your loved one has received a subject letter or target letter naming you as a subject or target of an alleged bank fraud, mail fraud, money laundering or wire fraud crime, have been served with a search warrant or grand jury subpoena, or have been charged in a criminal complaint or an indictment with the crime of bank, wire or mail fraud, contact the Joe Griffith Law Firm immediately to discuss your legal rights.
Joseph P. Griffith, Jr.
SC Bank Fraud Attorney
SC Mail Fraud Lawyer
SC Criminal Defense Wire Fraud Law Firm
Joe Griffith Law Firm, LLC
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Charleston, South Carolina 29401
South Carolina Attorney Joe Griffith is a former SC federal prosecutor who handles wire fraud and mail fraud cases in South Carolina and the United States. As a former federal prosecutor who has litigated nearly 30 federal court trials, top-rated attorney Joseph P. Griffith, Jr. focuses the great majority of his practice on federal White Collar Criminal defense. He has handled a wide range of White Collar Criminal cases, with particular emphasis on antitrust crimes, bank fraud, corporate fraud, environmental crimes, false claims act/government fraud, health care fraud, mail/wire fraud, money laundering, securities/stock fraud and tax fraud crimes. Joseph P. Griffith, Jr. has received Martindale-Hubbell’s highest AV rating, has received AVVO’s highest 10/10 rating, is a member of the Bar Register of Pre-eminent Lawyers, has been chosen a South Carolina Super Lawyer, and has been chosen one of the Best Lawyers in America. He has the experience to adroitly guide you or your company through the difficult process of a White Collar criminal investigation, and, if necessary, forcefully litigate your defense in the event of a prosecution.
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