Some people say that 58-year-old (name withheld in order to protect the privacy of the accused) should have known better. After all, he is an attorney and he’s meant to understand at least one thing, the law. However, others would argue that he simply made a silly mistake. It all began when he went to a Chase Bank in Foster City and presented a teller with what he suspected to be a fraudulent check for $280,000. In fact, he asked the teller to cash the check.
When the case went to a jury, they had a hard time believing him. In short, they found him guilty of both burglary and check fraud. He is no longer allowed to practice law in the state of California. His side of the story is that he wanted the bank to confirm that the check was a fake. He even tried to take it back when the teller became wary of cashing a check for such a large amount.
A California burglary conviction (CA Penal Code 459) comes with harsh penalties. Weissman was convicted of commercial second degree burglary as he attempted to defraud a place of business. It’s a ‘wobbler,’ meaning that it may be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or a felony. A felony conviction could result in up to 3 years in state prison; a misdemeanor conviction could end in 1 year in county jail. Check fraud (CA Penal Code 476) is also a California wobbler. A misdemeanor conviction could result in a maximum $1,000 fine and 1 year in county and a felony conviction means you could face a $10,000 fine and up to 3 years in state prison.
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