As many are aware, the educational field is recognized as one of the most rewarding careers out there. Those who work directly with students understand the impact they hold, while the others behind the scenes who fight for teacher rights understand the difficulties that come along with being employed in the education field. No matter which side of the coin they may be on, it is common knowledge that those who possess a career in education often struggle to be compensated for the work they do.

Criminal defense lawyers in Broward County, Florida acknowledge one story that recently made news in the Sun Sentinel involving the former Broward Teacher Union president, Pat Santeramo. The Broward Teacher Union is “one of the largest local teachers unions in the nation” as they represent educators who work for the School Board of Broward County and the City of Pembroke Pines. A union is recognized as a form of congregation that is used to help support those in a certain line of work to ensure they themselves aren’t victims of mistreatment.

Criminal defense attorneys in Broward County, Florida note that the article highlighted how loyal Santeramo had appeared to be as he was “devoted” to running the union and providing the support that all educators lack. And while his intentions may have been harmless to those actually working in the field, the scheme he conducted provided him with money that was not rightfully his; money that educators had placed in the hands of their “trustworthy” union that was expected to be used for their benefit.

It appears Santeramo had performed acts of misconduct “that earned him $165,000 over the last five years of his tenure.” The former union president was convicted of “money laundering, organized scheme to defraud and violating campaign contribution laws.” With the legal support of his Broward County criminal defense legal representative, while he was expected to be faced with the maximum penalty of 55 years, his time was reduced.

Broward Circuit Judge Jeffrey R. Levenson was in fact lenient as he only sentenced Santeramo “to five years in prison followed by five years’ probation.” Santeramo “will remain free” until his federal sentencing takes place. Once a date is set, he is expected to surrender himself and begin his prison sentence.

With a case such as this, it is evident criminal defense attorneys cover many grounds in Broward County as they are provided with several different cases that vary in the type of crime that was committed. In this particular case, with the initial steep penalty Santeramo was expected to receive, obtaining legal assistance from a reputable criminal defense law firm is the only suitable option. In any defense case, it is important one obtains the proper representation in order to attempt to have the penalties reduced. Luckily for Santeramo, his Broward County, Florida criminal defense lawyer was successful at that.