Attorney Sabrina Bonanno Defends Man Accused of Tracking Boston Couple’s Car
The Supreme Judicial Court has decided to weigh in on a case where a man
has been accused of tracking two vehicles using a GPS device. The Commonwealth
alleged in court documents that the man believed his significant other
was having an affair and that is why he used the GPS devices.
After being charged with criminal harassment, the man’s attorney,
Sabrina Bonanno (of Sweeney & Associates LLC) successfully argued
in District Court that the charges should be dismissed. The Commonwealth
appealed the dismissal and the Supreme Judicial Court has decide to weigh
in on the issue of whether it is legal to track the whereabouts of another
person using a GPS device in Massachusetts.
“My client is accused of doing what any private investigator would
have done,” said Bonanno, the Quincy attorney representing the man.
“It is not a violation of the law.” Bonanno defends against
the suggestion that the actions, though admittedly disconcerting for the
affected parties, are criminal under Massachusetts law.
The Supreme Judicial Court is likely to schedule oral argument for the
fall of 2018 and will ultimately render a decision that could change how
GPS tracking devices are used in Massachusetts by private citizens.
Woman Sentenced for Theft of More Than $.25 Million in Government Benefits
A Dorchester woman, represented by
Attorney Richard Sweeney of Sweeney and Associates in Massachusetts,
was sentenced to home confinement rather than 18-24 months imprisonment, which the sentencing guidelines recommended, after convicted of stealing
more than a quarter-million dollars in government benefits to which she
was not entitled.
The woman was sentenced by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Patti B. Saris
to 18 months of home confinement, 10 hours per week of community service,
and was ordered to pay $331,630 in restitution and a fine of $40,000.
In July 2014, she pleaded guilty to stealing public money in the form
of Social Security and Civil Service Retirement annuity payments paid
out for the benefit of her mother.
Following the death of her mother the woman was not herself entitled to
the money yet continued to receive and spend the benefits for over 30
years. It was alleged she stole over $200,000 in Social Security benefits
and $140,000 in Civil Service Retirement System annuity payments intended
for her mother. Upon discovering the theft, the government reclaimed a
portion of the funds from her bank account and she repaid the balance,
$331,630, at her sentencing today.
This case was brought as part of an ongoing effort by the U.S. Attorney's
Office in partnership with the Social Security Administration to investigate
and prosecute the posthumous fraud of Social Security benefits. In many
of these cases, family members, knowing they are not entitled to government
benefits, continue to withdraw and spend the funds after a relative has
died. This ongoing investigation has landed several defendants in federal
prison for these crimes.
Man Sentenced to 5 Years' Probation for 2 Counts of Possession of Child Porn
A Weymouth man was sentenced to five years' probation in Norfolk Superior
Court for two counts of Possession of Child Porn. The Weymouth native,
represented by Attorney Richard Sweeney of Sweeney and Associates, pled
guilty and was ordered to register with the Sex Offender Registry Board,
wear an ankle monitor and serve five years of supervised probation. The
District Attorney's Office had asked for up to five years imprisonment.
Motion to Suppress Allowed in Drug Case Alleging Sale Witnessed by Police
A Braintree man, represented by Attorney Richard Sweeney of Sweeney and
Associates, was alleged to have purchased drugs from a home in Braintree.
A Braintree detective witnessed what he testified to as a hand-to-hand
sale of narcotics. The vehicle was stopped and drugs and money were recovered
from the vehicle. The man was indicted on the drug charges and arraigned
in Superior Court. After a full hearing in Norfolk Superior Court on the
defendant's Motion To Suppress the search of the vehicle, the court ruled
that the officer lacked probable cause to search the vehicle and the evidence
was suppressed. As a direct result the case was dismissed against the
Braintree man for lack of evidence.
Richard J. Sweeney was named to the Governing Council of the
Norfolk County Bar Association. This is Attorney Sweeney's second term on the
Board of Governors.
Richard J. Sweeney was named
Chairman of the Norfolk County Bar Association's District Court Bench Bar
Committee. His duties included facilitating communication between District Court
Judges and local attorneys, as well as setting up
legal education seminars.
Attorney Richard Sweeney was nominated to serve on the
Joint Bar Committee on Judicial Appointments for a three-year term.
Attorney Richard Sweeney was named
President of the
Norfolk County Bar Association for 2014.
A jury found an alleged Brockton gang member Not Guilty of a
First Degree Murder charge after Attorney Richard Sweeney was able to locate a missing witness
in New York City's Bronx neighborhood. Through this witness they were
able to prove that the client was not involved in the shooting. Police
were able to find and convict the actual shooter in that murder.
Sexual Assault filed against a college student were dropped after Motion to Dismiss was
allowed. The student was from out of town and attending a college in Boston.
Sweeney and Associates obtained a
six-figure Motor Vehicle Accident settlement in a recent case. The insurance company initially offered zero but due
to evidence brought forth by Sweeney and Associates an offer was dramatically
increased with threat of trial.
Boston CEO found Not Guilty on
Operating Under the Influence (OUI/DUI) charges. The case stemmed from a
two-car accident with injuries. Jury found the defendant Not Guilty on all charges after trial.
A top executive with a large Boston firm was cleared after it was alleged
he was responsible for the
Theft or Embezzlement of over 1.3 Million Dollars by the New York parent company in a
White Collar Crime case. Despite the parent company sending its
President, CFO and attorneys from New York, attorney Richard Sweeney was able to prove that the problem was with the
accounting system and not our client. The result was the dismissal of
all charges against our client.
A top executive with a Boston firm was found Not Guilty of a
Third Offense Operating Under the Influence (OUI/DUI) charge after police found him asleep at an intersection. Attorney
Richard Sweeney was able to show at trial that the police could not prove
our client had operated the motor vehicle before he was found asleep.
Civil Litigation case Richard J. Sweeney represented a
local construction company in a
worker's compensation case where an insurance company filed suit ultimately
alleging that the construction company owed approximately $277,000 in back premiums. The construction company alleged that it only owed $50,000. We countersued
and the case settled on the trial date in favor of our client for $53,000.
A Northeastern University student was charged with
Indecent Assault & Battery against a fellow student. After a lengthy discovery process the charges were
Dismissed in Roxbury District Court.
High school students from Canton and Westwood were arrested at a party for being
Minors in Possession of Alcohol. Charges were
Dismissed in Dedham District Court saving the students from a criminal record.
A construction worker was found Not Guilty of
Drug Charges after police charged him with
Distribution of Class B (Cocaine) and Possession of Heroin. Boston Police staked out a local lumber yard for weeks and then made numerous
arrests. After a Motion To Suppress was allowed a judge found the defendant
Not Guilty of all charges.