Criminal Justice

  • Field: Law – Criminal


Assignment I 

Read the news article provided to you in the box below.


CRIME Former Miami lawmaker didn’t file tax returns during 8 years in office 


For eight years, Erik Fresen served in the Florida House of Representatives, leaving office last November due to term limits. During all eight of those years, Fresen neverfiled a federal income tax return. Fresen, a Miami Republican, pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to failing to file a tax return for 2011, a year in which he received $270,136 in income he didn’treportto UncleSam.

But in all, Fresen admitted heactuallyfailed to report hisincometo the Internal Revenue Service from 2007-16, according toa statement filed with his plea agreement. His tax troubles with the IRS arose before hispolitical career, including the yearbefore hewas elected as a legislator. In total, Fresen still owes at least $100,000 in back taxes, excluding fines and penalties, federal prosecutor Harold Schimkat said.

The nine-year period in which he failed to file any tax returns overlapped with Fresen’s eight- year tenure representing House District114 ,which includes Flagami ,WestMiami,Coral Gables, Pinecrest , Palmetto Bay and Cutler Bay. In the GOP-controlled state House, Fresen, who obtained a bachelor’s degree in finance and international relations from FloridaState University, rose to become the influential education budget chief. Fresen also worked during that time as a land-use consultant for the Miami architecture design firm Civica, and had previously worked for the powerhouse Miami law firm Holland and Knight.

Fresen, 40, faces from probation up to one year in prison under the terms of his plea agreement with federal prosecutors. He will be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Robert Scola on Aug. 18, when he must provide evidence that he has repaid the IRS or submit a repayment plan. His defense attorneys are expected to ask for probation, but Schimkat, the prosecutor, is recommending one year in prison.

Unlike a more serious felony conviction for tax evasion, fraud or filing a false return, the misdemeanor conviction for willfully failing to file are turnin 2011 would not prohibit Fresen from running for office again.


Fresen, who is free on a $100,000 bond, declined to comment outside the courtroom Wednesday. He wouldn’t say whyhefailed to filehis returns. “Areyoupleading guilty outof your own free will because you are, in fact, guilty?” Judge Scola asked Fresen in court.
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Excessive quotations (more quotes than your own words) will not award points. 

Based on the theories you have learnt, write a two-page (double spaced) paper on the case provided to you. 

Your paper should discuss the elements of crime and recognize the origins of criminal behavior depicted in this case. Using two different views of crime and two different explanations of crime in the context of different criminological schools of thought, explain the crime that Fresen (the offender) committed 

Your paper should address all the significant theoretical concepts of the case. Points will be awarded based on the following criteria: 



  Identification of the type of crime 


Theoretical explanation of why the offender may have committed the crime 


 Demonstrate the nexus between crime and prosecution 


Explanation of the crime from two different perspectives purported by two different theories of crime 


Grammar and other language mechanics, length, submission on time, and format 




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