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Man accused of bilking Baton Rouge residents in mail fraud

Sometimes people try to get a business going with investors' money, but the business just doesn't work out, That doesn't mean, however, that criminal charges are the appropriate course of action. Still, people do end up accused of white collar crimes, requiring a strong criminal defense to set the record straight.

That may be the case for a 40-year-old man who used to work in a chicken processing plant. To get a leg up in life, he studied business strategies online and decided to put his new knowledge to use. He had 86 investors, five of whom are from Baton Rouge, who put more than $500,000 into his company over a period of three years.

Allegedly, instead of investing the money, the man used it to support a lavish lifestyle. His attorney (not affiliated with this firm) countered that the defendant used the money to market a secret traffic safety program to government agencies. He merely didn't succeed with his initial entrepreneurial endeavor.

Officially, the man is facing eight counts of mail fraud. The prosecution claims that he gave false reports on earnings to his investors. He is also accused of drafting contracts that promised investors that he would invest their funds, which were, according to the indictment, "100 percent guaranteed and insured."

According to prosecutors, the man sent letters to investors indicating that the investment fund held $160,000, when in fact the amount had diminished to $367.

While prosecutors would like us to think otherwise, white collar crime cases are not always as clear-cut as they might seem. Louisiana residents who have been accused of fraud, embezzlement, tax evasion or corporate malfeasance will need a strong criminal defense to protect their rights. Authorities like to make examples out of people suspected of such crimes, and a strategic criminal defense may be the difference between fines, jail time or the dismissal of charges.

Source: The Advocate, "Prosecution: Man stole money from investors to fund lifestyle," Bill Lodge, Sept. 26, 2012

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