Articles Posted in White Collar Crimes

michael-d-beckwith-579345-unsplash-copy-300x253In another case of a high-profile defendant being able to buy his way out of felony charges, Aaron Schock has been offered a plea in which the prosecution will drop all the corruption charges against him if he pays the IRS tens of thousands of dollars and repays his campaign committees. Schock came under fire when he spent what seemed like exorbitant amounts of money redecorating his office in the style of Downton Abbey—a show he must really, really like. He was indicted on two dozen counts of fraud and falsification of election commission filings. He faced up to 20 years in prison.

The plea, which was offered by federal prosecutors, allows them to drop the charges against Schock if he repays the IRS within six months, but also allows them to pursue charges if he does not repay the $68,000 that he owes. Schock failed to report earnings on his income taxes and hence became the target of the IRS. Schock was accused of selling world series and super bowl tickets for $42,000 in profit and misreporting mileage that was a part of his campaigning.

Shots Fired

william-stitt-162589-unsplash-copy-300x200White-collar crime may consist of various charges at both the state and federal level. The stereotype of an individual engaging in white collar crime may be the high-level corporate executive in a tailored suit who sacrifices the future of his company for personal gain. But a crime of this nature could be perpetrated by anyone in the office, from a mailroom clerk all the way up to the C-suite.

Additionally, a white-collar crime does not have to be committed by a person in a corporation or even someone employed. The criminal may be a charming neighbor who cons an individual out of his or her retirement savings. Offenses like credit card theft or counterfeiting do not typically involve violence, but they do have a serious impact on individuals, society, and the economy.

A white-collar criminal defense attorney can provide a level of protection against the severity of the penalties associated with these types of charges.

william-stitt-162589-unsplash-copy-300x200To better protect consumers and business owners, courts have been punishing those who commit white collar crimes more severely. After the banking system in the United States nearly collapsed, the prosecution of Bernie Madoff, Martha Stewart, Enron executives, and many other high-profile cases took center stage. Many executives of large organizations find themselves under unprecedented federal scrutiny.

The term “white collar” was initially used in the 1930s to describe criminal acts that were not violent. Frequently, individuals faced charges of white collar crimes when more serious criminal violations could not be proven. Think of Al Capone’s conviction of tax evasion in 1931.

There are many crimes that are categorized as white collar violations. Most are related to money or property that was the responsibility of an organization’s trusted employee. The most common form of a white collar crime is embezzlement and is often committed by accountants, payroll clerks, and bookkeepers. Depending on the amount of money or the value of property stolen, embezzlement can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor.

White collar crimes are those that are financially motivated and nonviolent. The term “white collar” refers to the group of individuals who often committing this sort of illegal activity- government officials or business professionals. Crimes of this nature typically involve embezzlement, forgery, or other means of theft by deception. The tools of the white collar criminal are lies and deceit.

One of the most famous cases regarding white collar crime involved Bernard “Bernie” Madoff. The Department of Justice has disbursed nearly $2 billion back to investors who lost money in his Ponzi scheme.

However, the difference between a mistake and a lie is not clear. When a business transaction goes awry, agencies of law enforcement often misconstrue honest intentions for malicious intent. Far too frequently, innocent people are prosecuted and arrested for white collar crimes based on ambiguous evidence.

william-stitt-162589-unsplash-copy-300x200White collar crime is most common in the corporate world. It is a group of crimes that are typically committed by business people who have access to insider information, funds, assets, and other items. Those who commit a white collar crime can face years in prison if convicted and if they are not able to reach a deal with the prosecutor assigned to the case. Let us take a look at the different types of white collar crimes.

Securities Fraud

Securities fraud is one of the most common types of white collar crime committed today. This white collar crime occurs almost exclusively in the corporate world. The most common form of securities fraud is that of insider training. Insider trading occurs when a person who has information about the company for which they work and uses it to their financial advantage.

patryk-sobczak-497-unsplash-copy-300x200The Lanham Act was made law in 1946 by Congress on the permissions provided by the Commerce Clause. It offers a nationwide trademark registration system that gives protection to trademark owners who have registered to make similar use of their trademark illegal. This applies in cases in which such use could confuse consumers. It also applies if such use erodes the competitiveness or appeal of a popular company mark.

The extent to which the Lanham Act is independent can depend on state law. Besides providing a system for trademark registration, the act also provides criteria under which companies can watch the modifications they make to their trademarks. Through these aspects, the Lanham Act oversees unfair competition laws and regulations. It also controls false advertising. Business owners have a legal right against competitors who make misleading claims about their products and business operations. Also addressed in the act are issues of privacy invasion such as the disclosure of financial information to third parties.

Cases in Chicago

matthew-henry-35963-unsplash-copy-300x200White collar crimes in Chicago are serious and often result in felony charges for the accused. Although you may have an idea of what white collar crimes are, you may not know some of the activities and sentences under this category of crime.

What is White Collar Crime?

White collar crime is a term used to describe an array of criminal acts that are committed in a professional or business setting. This type of crime mainly involves the theft of financial assets or data, which is used for financial gain. You will be surprised to learn that in most cases, the criminal does not come into contact with the victim. Some victims are unaware that the offense even took place.

samuel-zeller-4138-copy-300x198The temping industry in Chicago has often failed the minimum standards test when it comes to workers’ rights and other pertinent matters. For a start, many of these agencies will attempt to pay below the minimum wage or just at the minimum wage with the proviso that there are other agency fees that effectively reduce the take-home pay even further. The hiring malpractice of some of some temping agencies includes engaging in unlawful discrimination based on age, race, gender, nationality, and disability. Even where there is compliance, it is often at a bare minimum in order to avoid prosecution.

This is an important consideration for the law not least because it entails a growing workforce sector that has significant implications for the economy. The people who are affected by the malpractice are some of the most vulnerable in the community, and they end up facing a judicial system that does not seem to respond to their needs. Unless it is a class action, this is not a very lucrative endeavor for lawyers, and that can sometimes hinder progress in terms of bringing the human rights issues to the fore.

Understanding How an Industry Can be Corrupted

markus-spiske-153537-200x300The internet is a mixed blessing from a legal point of view. On one hand, it can open up opportunities for trade beyond anything that we have ever seen. On the other hand, it opens up the possibility for some modern crimes such as wire fraud in Chicago. It is important to note that this is a federal offense, even if the local law enforcement agencies in Chicago may be involved in the prosecution process. A conviction can lead to significant fines and a long term of imprisonment (see the Alan Gold case). The courts respond to public outcries about white collar crime defendants who are able to get away with large scale offenses and yet the judges are limited by sentencing guidelines from imposing the harshest terms of imprisonment.

Special circumstances apply if the crime is committed against a financial institution, thereby denting public confidence in the system. In such cases, the defendant may be sent to jail for up to 30 years. The lengthy investigative process has sometimes been associated with an enhanced flight risk. Therefore; the defending attorney will have to address issues of bail quite early on. Then comes the long investigative process during which the facts themselves might appear to be overwhelming the case. The prosecutor will be able to ask for a number of documents and witness statements under court order. The defense will also ask for documents to examine substantive and procedural defects in the prosecution’s case.

Moving to Discovery

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The city of Chicago actively pursues those it believes to be guilty of corporate fraud. It is an offense that has the potential to affect many citizens as well as provoking the interest of federal agents. The complexity of such cases means that the use of a suitably qualified defense attorney is important to any defendant. The multiplicity of victims and perpetrators can make it difficult to decipher a single line of defense. For example, the whistleblowers may also become potential victims. The case management also incorporates a lot of research, particularly of a technical nature. The law as it stands calls for a high level of specificity before the charge can stick. That means identifying not only the defendant but also the modus operandi.

Intent is an important indicator of guilt, and its absence can make a case collapse. That is why the defense attorney will often try to portray his or her client as being well-meaning but rather incompetent. By contrast, the prosecutor will often seek to portray the defendant as being calculating, cunning, and sophisticated. Needless to say, the level of sophistication is critical in determining the severity of the punishment at conviction. The courts will consider the victim impact statements, which might be diverse depending on who was affected by the alleged crime.

Applying the Complex Strictures of the Law