Trial of Miami Beach club operators linked to Russian mob gets under

Miami Beach’s “B-Girls” are back.
But not as the sirens who seduced men in swank hotels like the Delano, to lure them to seedy private clubs on Washington Avenue so they could be plied with liquor and swindled.
Some of the 10 Bar Girls convicted over the past year will appear in Miami federal court as government witnesses, to testify against a handful of defendants who authorities say are linked to Russian organized crime.
On trial starting Tuesday are four reputed associates, along with a Sunny Isles Beach investor who once dabbled in local politics. They’re accused of orchestrating a fraud scheme to run up the credit card bills of South Beach tourists by hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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Supreme Court extends effective lawyer right to plea deals

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday extended the constitutional right to effective legal assistance in cases of plea bargain deals that are rejected or lapsed due to bad lawyer advice. The days of reasonable plea offers from the State Attorney’s Office are no more. The Supreme Court has effectively taken away any incentive criminal defendant’s may have had to enter a plea, as they may simple claim at a later date that their counsel was inffective during conversations with them regarding potential offers. It is yet to be seen how high of a standard defendant’s claiming such ineffectiveness will be held to, but there will most certainly be more colloquys placed on the record by defense counsel and more cases set for trial. Regardless, an already swamped criminal justice system should prepare itself for even more backlog as more and more cases appear on the trial docket.
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Miami cop going 120 mph gets plea offer

Officer Fausto Lopez is charged with reckless driving, a misdemeanor that carries a maximum of 90 days in jail. If he pleads guilty or no contest to the charge, prosecutors will not seek jail time, Assistant State Attorney David Schulson said at a court hearing Monday.
The Miami cop clocked going 120 mph while off duty last fall could stay out of jail but end up with a criminal record under a plea offer by prosecutors.,0,4800023.story

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