Last month Attorney Ian N. Friedman negotiated a plea deal for their client, Larry Bence, the former co-owner of Abon Cards and Coins shop. Mr. Bence originally faced twenty-five counts for theft, fraud, and conspiracy-related crimes resulting from federal RICO charges. Per the terms of the plea deal, Mr. Bence pleaded guilty to one count of receiving stolen property and Abon Cards and Coins pleaded guilty to engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity.
Last week, Mr. Bence received his sentence at the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, which did not include any prison time. For pleading guilty to the single count of receiving stolen property, a fourth degree felony, Mr. Bence was sentenced to:
- Five years of probation
- $10,000 in restitution
- Some property forfeiture
Authorities had asserted that Mr. Bence, his wife, and an employee had continually engaged in theft, fraud, and conspiratorial activities from March 2013 to July 2014. Among the allegations was that Mr. Bence had paid local thieves to steal specific items from national chain stores for Abon Cards and Coins to resell.
Speaking with the press after the sentencing, Attorney Friedman revealed that many of the items seized from the shop during an August 2014 raid by the FBI, Secret Service, and IRS will be returned to Mr. Bence now that the matter has been resolved. According to the Telegraph-Forum, Attorney Friedman also added that the terms of the plea deal included complete immunity for Mr. Bence’s wife.
Remarkable Reduction in Charges and Sentence
RICO laws are designed to stop large criminal enterprises by simultaneously charging numerous participants. RICO charges are some of the most serious federal charges that can be filed against a group of individuals, which is why it’s important to have the representation of an experienced defense attorney.
In Mr. Bence's case, the outstanding defense provided by Attorney Friedman not only led to the reduction of his extensive charges, but also resulted in the dismissal of the charges against Mrs. Bence and an employee.
If you are facing serious felony or federal charges in the greater Cleveland area, make sure you retain the representation of a seasoned criminal defense firm. Contact Ian N. Friedman to schedule a free consultation to learn about your defense options!