Dixie County Attorney Found Guilty Of Extorting Former Client And Failing To Report Cash As Required
Jacksonville, Florida – United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces that a federal jury has found Marion Michael O’Steen (43, Cross City) guilty of interfering with commerce by extortion and failing to timely file a Form 8300 reporting the receipt of more than $10,000 in currency. O’Steen faces a maximum penalty of 25 years in federal prison and may be required to forfeit at least $60,000 in proceeds received. The sentencing hearing is scheduled for October 12, 2022.
According to evidence presented at trial, O’Steen was a criminal defense attorney who represented clients being prosecuted by former State Attorney Jeffrey Alan Siegmeister’s office in the Third Judicial Circuit. Siegmeister was previously charged and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to use a facility of commerce for unlawful activity, conspiracy to commit extortion, wire fraud, and tax fraud. Testimony at trial established that O’Steen requested official acts from Siegmeister—including the favorable disposition of charges filed against his client, and the delay of official actions–in order to enable O’Steen to obtain additional “fees” from at least one of his clients. On August 17, 2018, O’Steen told his client that if the client paid him an additional $60,000 fee, O’Steen would use up a “favor” with the state attorney to make “everything go away,” representing that O’Steen had favors with Siegmeister for which people would pay him. O’Steen told his client he could “go to trial and fight em’ out, which I don’t think you can win.” He further advised his client that he would not get the same results from another attorney.
O’Steen received two payments of $30,000 each from his client. Evidence at trial established that O’Steen knew the reporting requirements but failed to timely file a Form 8300 with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Kelly S. Karase and David B. Mesrobian.