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Houston Legal Blog

Houston residents arrested in nationwide college admissions scam

The bribery allegations range from some of the nation’s finest universities on the east coast to some of the finest on the west coast. The allegations also extend to the University of Texas and Houston, according to statements from the Department of Justice.

According to law enforcement officials, Michael Center, head tennis coach at the University of Texas at Austin, accepted a $100,000 bribe to designate an applicant as a recruited tennis player, though the student did not even play tennis. Center is one of 50 people charged with racketeering conspiracy in an alleged nationwide scheme to bypass the college admissions system and place the sons and daughters of wealthy parents in prestigious schools.

Does the consequence always fit the accusations?

You are probably familiar with Sir Isaac Newton’s third law: “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” Although you may not understand where the quote came from, you might have used it to describe certain events in your life. And even if you are not a physicist, you probably know that every action you take can have consequences.

As a child, perhaps your parents spanked you or put you in a “time out” for disobeying. As you got older, maybe your grades suffered as a result of not properly preparing for exams. Your actions had reactions. But as an adult, your behavioral consequences can be life-altering. And when criminal accusations are involved, the related penalties could draw your experience to a close.

Texas man accused of 'fraudulent business dealings'

About 200 miles due north of Houston is where you will find Smith County. The county seat is in Tyler, home to Earl Campbell, one of the greatest football players to ever put on the University of Texas and Houston Oilers uniforms.

A man arrested in Smith County recently has been accused of being a different kind of player, however. The 49-year-old has been accused of “fraudulent business dealings” across the state. He has been charged with theft, a local news report stated.

Houston police chief: FBI investigating fatal botched drug raid

Last month’s deadly no-knock drug raid conducted by Houston police officers left the community in shock. Two people were killed and five officers wounded in the botched raid.

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said recently in a press conference that the FBI has launched a civil rights investigation into the conduct of officers involved. Acevedo said the HPD criminal investigation into the deaths will continue, even as he said new policies will help the department avoid future drug arrest fatalities.

Texas woman faces felony debit card abuse charge

If you drive about 400 miles north of Houston, you will come to the modest town of Burkburnett, Texas. While the name might not be familiar to most us, the moniker has significance for U.S. history buffs. They understand that President Theodore Roosevelt named the town after visiting the area for a wolf hunt hosted by a wealthy rancher named Samuel Burk Burnett.

The Wichita County municipality is home today to a woman who faces a pair of serious white collar charges: credit card or debit card abuse against the elderly (a third degree felony) and forgery.

Dumpster-diving Texas man arrested for ID theft

According to a recent news article, a Texas man recently pulled into an alley and began looking through the contents of a dumpster. The 44-year-old dumpster-diver was sorting through the stuff people had thrown away – that is itself not a crime, of course, but local law enforcement had been alerted by Postal Service employees who reported that the man’s behavior was suspicious.

A police department spokesperson later said the man had been “basically dumpster diving for things people through away and sometime people throw away personal information.” When officers searched the man’s vehicle, they found what they described as stolen mail that included W-2 forms and personal checks. He was charged with ID theft-related crimes including mail theft and possession of stolen mail.

Houston police: Medical assistant illegally gave injections

Health care is constantly evolving, pushed forward by rapid advances in technology. One recent permutation known as the med spa – a hybrid of non-surgical medical care and a relaxing spa. Med spas are typically devoted to helping customers look and feel better.

A 26-year-old med spa employee was recently arrested by Houston police on a felony charge of practicing medicine without a license. Law enforcement officials allege that he has been illegally injecting Botox and wrinkle fillers into customers.

New efforts to combat unsafe driving in Houston

An investigation last year revealed Houston has some of the most dangerous roads in the country. According to the Houston Chronicle, more than 600 people die on Houston-area roads every year, due to drivers who speed, are intoxicated, are distracted or because of poorly laid out roads.

Now law enforcement and healthcare officials are stepping up to do something about it. Local law enforcement officials have created a task force to address these issues. The task force’s goals are to reduce traffic violations and unsafe driving to prevent traffic accidents and fatalities.

Harris County lawsuit challenges high bail in nonviolent arrests

Those who are familiar with Harris County's court system see it happen regularly: after a felony arrest, costly bail is imposed on a suspect with little or no financial resources. The suspect is then held in jail for weeks or months awaiting trial.

A recently filed lawsuit seeks to change this court dynamic. The suit argues that Harris County is holding people simply because they do not have the cash to make bail, while people who have the cash are able to get out of custody and resume their lives.

Man accused of felony stalking of Houston philanthropist

On her website, Carolyn Farb refers to herself as "The First Lady of Philanthropy in Texas." She lists her various philanthropic endeavors, including efforts on behalf of UNICEF, as well as science and arts organizations in Houston and elsewhere.

A recent news article referred to Farb as a "well-known Houston philanthropist" when it reported that a 61-year-old man was recently arrested for felony stalking and sending her threatening letters.