A man in Iran has been charged with bank robbery after purchasing a faulty spell from a local sorcerer to make him invisible and then taking money from bank patron’s hands. For the Iranian bank robber, he would have been best served to either look in a mirror prior to testing out his purchase or at the very minimum to have asked for a test run before shelling out the $500 for the invisibility cloak. When questioned by an Iranian Judge about the allegations, the man explained that he purchased a set of spells to tie to his arm that would make him invisible. He further explained that the sorcerer from whom he made his purchase explained to him that he could rob banks to his heart’s content due to the invisibility provided by the spell pack. Unfortunately for our Iranian friend when he entered the bank and began taking money from patrons’ hands, he quickly learned that he was very visible.
Though we’re in Iran for purposes of this blog, if one elected to purchase invisibility and perform a bank robbery in the United States, they would be staring down the barrel of a Bank Robbery charge under 18 USC 2113. The Federal Bank Robbery statute says that whoever by force and violence, or through intimidation, takes, or tries to take from another, or obtains or attempts to obtain something by extortion belonging to, or in the care, custody, control, management, or possession of, any bank, credit union, or any savings and loan association or whoever enters or attempts to enter any bank, credit union, or any savings and loan association, with intent to commit any felony affecting such bank, credit union, or such savings and loan association and in violation of any statute of the United States, or any larceny–
Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.
For a bank robbery in the sense that the general public envisions, the sentencing guidelines would begin with a base offense level of 20. As most Tampa criminal lawyers who do Federal criminal work would tell you, the base offense level is just the tip of the iceberg in the Federal sentencing scheme. Because the institution involved in the our friend of the sorcerer’s scenario was a bank, the offense level would be increased by two levels, making the offense level now a 22. It doesn’t seem that there was a weapon, death threat, injury or abduction so the level increase associated with each would not be applicable. Depending on the amount of money involved there could be additional level increases for a Tampa Federal criminal lawyer to consider in their initial calculation of potential sentence. Due to the amount in this scenario appearing to be less than $10,000 it doesn’t seem that there would be an increase based on amount stolen.
Unfortunately for our magical friend there are no points reduced for style and creativity as his little scheme would certainly be ripe for that reward. All said and done, in a United States Federal Court his total offense level would likely be a 22 assuming there are no additional material facts left out of the numerous stories published about this event. Considering a reduction for accepting responsibility he could at least reduce his total offense level to a 20 or 19 and possibly more if he were eligible for a two point safety valve reduction. At the end of the day if this guy is squeaky clean, he would be looking anywhere between 30 and 63 months in an American Federal prison. With a good effort by his Federal defense lawyer he may be able get the low end of that range.
Ultimately our friend appeared to be dealing with black magic as his endeavor did not work out in his favor. Maybe next time he’ll get a better referral.
Jason Mayberry is a Tampa criminal attorney with offices in Tampa and Clearwater. For a free consultation contact our office at 813-444-7435 or at 727-771-3847.