Found below are the 2019 results for Dan Eckhart Law. As you can see, I was very busy with a number of federal cases and travel. It goes without saying that I owe huge thanks to everyone who helped me this past year including my clients, referring attorneys, friends and family. Special thanks goes out to attorney Fritz Scheller who has helped me considerably the past few years and brought me in as co-counsel on a number of his cases. We had a remarkable year and I’m looking to more challenges next year. Take care and have a great 2020!
Federal Criminal Cases in 2019
I defended 19 federal criminal cases or investigations in 2019. 14 of these cases were in the Middle District of Florida, 1 was in the Eastern District of Michigan, 1 was in the Virgin Islands, 1 was in the Eastern District of New York, 1 was in the Southern District of Georgia and 1 was in the District of Columbia. 10 of these cases were fraud-based or money laundering (investment fraud, bank fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, identity theft, mortgage fraud, Medicare fraud and bribery of foreign officials). 7 involved drugs and/or firearms and 2 involved child pornography. I had 8 federal sentencing hearings in 2019 with my clients receiving downward departure or variances below the Federal Sentencing Guidelines in 6. The remaining 2 clients received low-end guideline sentences.
I also got a client who was sentenced in 2018 released from federal custody pursuant to a Rule 35 motion for her cooperation with the government. I consulted with attorneys on several forfeiture matters and was able to get a substantial amount of a clients’ money returned.
Abood Law Firm
In 2019, I was named “Of Counsel” for the Abood Law Firm with offices in East Lansing and Birmingham, Michigan https://aboodlaw.com/dan-eckhart The Abood Law Firm was established in 1956 and is now led by cousins Andrew and Jeff Abood. The firm has a tradition of providing excellent criminal defense and getting great results in tough cases. My role with the firm is to provide assistance on federal cases filed in the Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan.
Orlando Style Magazine and “Top 100 National Trial Lawyers”
I was featured as one of Orlando’s Attorneys of the Year in the September, 2019 issue. https://orlandostylemagazine.com/dan-eckhart/
I also was named to the “Top 100” by the National Trial Lawyers in 2019. https://www.thenationaltriallawyers.org/profile-view/Dan/Eckhart/20253/
State Cases in 2019
I represented two University of Central Florida (UCF) administrators before the Public Integrity and Ethics Committee for the Florida House in the investigation. The Committee was investigating the unauthorized use of appropriated funds for fixed capital outlay projects. Neither client was disciplined or criminally charged but the President of UCF resigned during the investigation. I’m also representing a client charged with major fraud and theft in Lake County and another charged with fraud in Orange County.
I represented two different doctors who suspected their colleagues were involved in Medicare fraud. After my investigations confirmed the fraud, one doctor fired his colleague and paid a substantial fine to Medicare. The other doctor left the practice where the fraud was taking place and is cooperating with law enforcement. I also acted as compliance counsel with attorney David Haas for a religious organization based out of Orlando, Florida, on AML/BSA issues.
I was hired by a client who resides in the Middle East and is being investigated by the Department of Justice for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by bribing government officials. I traveled to Vienna, Austria to meet with U.S. officials in May and to Washington, D.C. in July for a second meeting. The case is still ongoing and we are hoping for a resolution in 2020. I’m working with David Haas to provide compliance guidance to a Brazilian cryptocurrency operation. Namely, getting the company licensed in Florida as a money-service business and implementing adequate Know Your Customer and Bank Secrecy Act policies and tools. I also helped out on a case charged in the Virgin Islands where the client was accused of smuggling drugs from the British Virgin Islands to the U.S.
Lectures and Training in 2019
I was a moderator at the Association of Certified Money Laundering (ACAMS) 24th Annual AML and Financial Crime Conference in Hollywood, Florida in April 2019. The topic was Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) teams. A few weeks later, I was at the 17th Annual Offshore Alert Conference North America: A Financial Intelligence & Investigations in Miami, Florida. I was on a panel with Rana Saoud, Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Miami, Florida and Securities and Exchange Committee (SEC) Attorney Martin Zerwitz on cryptocurrency laws, regulations, and crime. In October 2019, Attorney David Haas and I gave presentations on cryptocurrency regulations and whistleblower cases on Grand Cayman Island at the 15th Annual GCS Advisory Anti-Money Laundering and Compliance Conference.
Along with an attorney from the Federal Bureau of Prisons and an Assistant U.S. Attorney from the Middle District of Florida, I gave a presentation on the First Step Act for the Orlando Federal Courthouse for the Federal Bar Association. I also attended the Andrea Taylor Sentencing Advocacy Workshop in San Antonio, Texas, in March 2019 and the Federal Bar Association Annual Conference in Tampa, Florida in September 2019. Finally, I gave live commentary for Channel 13 News on the congressional hearings for the Mueller Report with Attorney David Haas.
I was on the Middle District of Florida’s Merit Selection Committee to recommend replacements for U.S. Magistrate Judges Thomas Smith and Karla Spaulding. I’m proud that both of my top recommendations, Leslie Hoffman and Embry Kidd, got the nod from the judges in the MDFL and are now magistrate judges. I volunteered on the Media Relations Committee for Florida Citrus Sports https://floridacitrussports.com/ for the Camping World Bowl and the Citrus Bowl this year. I also was an at-large board member for the Orlando Federal Bar Association and continued to support the Skinner Strong Foundation. http://www.skinnerstrong.org/