David Weiker vs. State of Florida
This unanimous decision partly affirms and partly reverses the lower court's ruling on Weiker's 4 claims of ineffective counsel where he was convicted on fraud charges. The ruling reads:
"In his fourth claim, Weiker asserted that his trial counsel was ineffective for failing to object or stipulating to restitution in the amount of $22,862,351.99. We agree and reverse for the trial court to conduct a restitution hearing."
For the first claim, they agree with the lower court's ruling without further details or background information. The lower court did not rule on claims 2 and 3 at all. This Court is sending these claims back with instructions that the lower court must make these decisions.
In claim 4, Weiker argued his lawyer was ineffective because they did not challenge the restitution amount in his sentence. The lower court rejected his argument, saying his lawyer should have objected during sentencing. The Court questions this logic because that is exactly what the claim is about, the lack of objection. This Court also says Weiker is legally allowed to raise the issue after conviction. The amount calculated included costs unrelated to Weiker's convictions. An objection during sentencing would have had an impact on the amount of restitution owed. This Court reversed the lower court's decision and granted a new restitution hearing.
Weiker was the CEO of Platinum Properties. The company was supposed to build homes in Florida. Money was taken for the homes but they were never built. The money appears to have been used for personal use. Weiker was convicted of organized fraud, and 29 counts of communications fraud. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison and to pay $22.8 million in restitution.
In 2014, he appealed his convictions and sentences and they were affirmed.
For this case, he filed claims of ineffective counsel in a lower court, and appealed those decisions to the 5th District Court of Appeal.
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