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Louisiana man faces federal charges in alleged fraud

A Louisiana media consultant has been charged with wire fraud and money laundering after prosecutors said he charged clients more than $1 million for advertisements that he never placed. If convicted, the 51-year-old man could face decades in prison and a $2.75 million fine.

Federal prosecutors say the man was owner and operator of an advertising firm that handled advertising for Louisiana car dealerships. Prosecutors say that between 2009 and 2012, the man submitted false expense reports to his clients, ultimately collecting $1.14 million for advertisements that he never placed. He would then move the money into his personal accounts.

If convicted, the man could be sentenced to 30 years in prison for each of five fraud charges. He could face additional time for six charges of money laundering. The man already faces similar charges in St. Tammany Parish in a case that is scheduled to go to trial in September.

Wire fraud and money laundering are often considered to be white collar crimes, a category that includes different types of crimes in the business world, including embezzlement and insider trading. The penalties for these crimes can be just as serious as they are for other kinds of theft. However, the evidence in these cases is typically much more complicated than it is for the average street crime. The case may involve sophisticated financial transactions or computer forensics.

Building a defense in a white collar crime case requires a thorough investigation of the evidence and a deep knowledge of business and the law. Louisiana residents who are accused of white collar crimes should get help building a defense from professionals who know how to approach these cases.

Source: NOLA.com, "Mandeville media consultant accused of bilking clients now faces federal charges in Baton Rouge," Heather Nolan, August 15, 2013