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ONE PROSECUTION ONLY FOR FAILING TO REGISTER Sex offenders who fail to notify authorities when they move from one locale to another should be punished for only one crime, the state Supreme Court ruled Monday. The unanimous decision comes in the case of registered sex offender Michael Britt, who in 1998 moved 31 miles from Sacramento to El Dorado Hills without notifying authorities within five working days. He was charged by Sacramento County officials with failing to notify that he had left and by El Dorado County authorities for neglecting to register upon his arrival. The state had argued that Britt’s act constituted two separate crimes under the state’s Penal Code. The court disagreed. “Defendant failed to report to law enforcement agencies in two different counties,” Justice Ming Chin wrote, “but that does not mean that each omission must be tried in the county where the agency is located.” Britt’s move was one continuing crime, he said, and could be prosecuted as such in either venue. William Arzbaecher III, a staff attorney at Sacramento’s Central California Appellate Program, called the ruling a “pretty narrow opinion,” but was nonetheless pleased. “I was glad to see they recognized there is only one criminal intent here,” he said. “It is an unfair projection to say that somebody who doesn’t register has multiple intents.” Sacramento-based Deputy Attorney General Raymond Brosterhous, who argued the case, would only say he was disappointed. The ruling is People v. Britt, 04 C.D.O.S. 3366. — Mike McKee ASSOCIATE GETS JAIL TIME FOR THEFTS FROM FIRM NEW YORK — A former associate at White & Case has received a jail sentence for stealing more than $111,000 from her law firm and for helping her boyfriend orchestrate a scheme that defrauded investors, including a number of White & Case employees, of more than $260,000. Jennifer Hampton was sentenced last month by Acting Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Renee White to a prison term of 11/2 to four years. Hampton pleaded guilty in November to charges of first-degree fraud and second-degree grand larceny. At the sentencing, White castigated the 34-year-old former lawyer, who earned a six-figure salary as a White & Case associate, for turning to crime to support an ostentatious lifestyle. “[T]here is no reason for this,” the judge said. “You weren’t in need of money. All you were interested in was a very high lifestyle, living in the best hotels, [throwing] the best parties that everybody will go [to], spending other people’s money.” More than 30 people fell victim to the scheme by Hampton and her boyfriend, Anthony Burges, 35, who promised investors huge profits on supposed foreign currency trades, according to court records. The couple told prospective investors Burges was achieving returns of up to 50 percent a month through his currency trading. Some investors were told their investments had grown enormously in value. But rather than investing the money, the couple spent it on personal items including clothing, stays at expensive Manhattan hotels and a lavish New Year’s Eve party on Dec. 31, 2001. The victims, mostly friends, relatives and co-workers of the pair, included Hampton’s own secretary at White & Case, as well as another secretary and a clerical employee at the firm. — New York Law Journal

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