Learn the History of Cocaine for Earth Day

Grown primarily in the mountains of South America, the coca plant has played an influential part in the development of recent history. The crystalline tropane alkaloid substance known as cocaine was first isolated by a German chemist in 1859. The unique chemical properties of cocaine make it ideal for use… Read More

What Should a Criminal Defendant Say to Friends and Family Members?

If you’re facing criminal charges, things are going to be tough for a while. What should you say to friends and family members? What will they think? Sure, being straight forward and honest is always the best policy, but that won’t make the ordeal any easier. Difficult Conversations As the… Read More

Lawyer/Client Relationships: Is a Little White Lie OK?

Should you lie to your lawyer? You probably know the answer, but let’s be honest; it’s just human nature to make things appear better than they really are. There are many reasons for being honest with your defense attorney, but good old self-preservation should be at the top of your… Read More

4 Famous Con Men: Too Smart for Their Own Good

Most people have a strange fondness for famous con men. When we hear a story about a con man that has mastered the art of taking advantage of one sucker after another, it’s hard not to shake our heads in amazement and let loose a chuckle. It’s easy to view… Read More

Drugs Crimes: How to Know If It’s Federal

Any drug offense can be prosecuted as a state or federal crime. There are even instances when both state and federal prosecutors file separate charges against the same defendant. It’s true that most drug arrests are made by the local police, but any drug case can end up in the… Read More

Murder Charges: Ya…It’s as Bad as it Sounds…Without Help

It’s not surprising that murder cases always get the headlines. There can be little doubt that the taking of a human life is a heinous criminal act, but not all murder cases are created equal. A range of penalties are available at the state and federal level to punish convicted murderers… Read More

Tax Fraud vs. Tax Evasion: What’s the Difference?

The crackdown by federal prosecutors on Swiss banks and money managers for alleged crimes related to tax fraud and evasion does not seem as if it will slow down in 2014. The indictment of a Swiss private fund manager was announced by prosecutors in February, and prosecutors intended to charge… Read More

Federal Release Conditions: I Made Bail…But Wait

In late January 2014, Anthony Ciccone was charged with participating in a major Ponzi scheme allegedly perpetrated by a notorious New York businessman. He was ordered to wait in a federal detention center until his case is resolved. Ciccone, who is charged with attempting to launder money through a taxation scheme,… Read More

Overbilling for Partial Hospitalization Programs

Overpaying happens in many industries, but when it happens in the American medical industry, federal and state governments sit up and take notice. According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), over half of community health medical centers (CHMC) ask for more money from Medicare than… Read More

Money Laundering: Defenses to Avoid the Big House

A former trustee of the prestigious Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) was recently sentenced to 20 years in prison for his alleged role in a Texas money laundering scheme. The defendant was an attorney and philanthropist from El Paso who was arrested in late 2012 by federal law enforcement agents after… Read More

Houston Criminal Lawyer James Alston represents clients in the Houston area, including Pasadena, Sugar Land, Missouri City, Channelview, Conroe, Galveston, Angleton, Richmond, Rosenberg, Beaumont, Galveston County, Ft. Bend County, Montgomery County, Brazoria County, Harris County and Jefferson County in Texas.