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Former state official is swamped under cycle of felony charges

A bizarre tale of continuing brushes with the law afflicts a former New York Deputy Secretary of State. The man is facing federal felony charges of lying about his financial assets and, more recently, the criminal offense of failing to report to federal probation officers that he had an arrest for driving without a license. The man's continuing cycle of criminal offenses started in 2007 when he was convicted of scamming funds from a state-sponsored agency designed to help small business development.

He reportedly scammed the agency for about $200,000. In 2010, prosecutors dropped charges of impersonation of a state official against him due to prosecutorial negligence. In addition, he was ticketed for leaving the scene of an accident after striking another vehicle. Federal authorities charged him two years ago with four counts of perjury for allegedly lying about where he obtained $75,000 to purchase an $865,000 horse farm in Nassau.

How the defendant obtained the large chunks of money to buy the sprawling horse farm, and to finance his daughter's expensive wedding on the farm, are questions still shrouded in mystery. It appears that the accused is careless and less than forthright with the authorities. On the surface, however, it remains unclear whether the money that he obtained was from his aunt and mother, as he claimed. It is also questionable whether federal authorities are properly pursuing charges against him or whether they are overreaching their jurisdiction.

He is also reportedly involved in a used car business with his brother that seems responsible for large flows of unexplained money. Again, whether that situation involves a criminal offense under New York law or investigations into the business are merely the result of overreaching curiosity of federal officials is also unclear. When all of the details are combined, a connection between the reported events and the felony charges, or a clear explanation of their dynamics, is absent. Whether federal officials have brought sustainable charges against him is yet to be determined.  

Source: timesunion.com, "Former state official Felix Strevell arrested again as federal charges loom", Brendan J. Lyons, Oct. 13, 2016

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