The existence of the internet has created a whole new range of potential criminal acts. In a previous post, this blog reported on a trial underway against a man who the police allege defrauded others out of bitcoins, an e-currency. The man was charged with wire fraud and securities fraud, both of which are considered to be white collar criminal charges.
A former e-currency banker has recently pleaded not guilty to criminal charges in a federal district court. The e-banker has been charged with two criminal charges: one count of wire fraud and one count of securities fraud.
Many people in Louisiana might be under the impression that a white collar crime isn't as serious as other types of criminal acts that involve narcotics, violence and theft. However, a white collar crime is treated harshly by law enforcement as they might end up involving a larger number of entities with far more people being negatively affected by its aftermath. One such act that has garnered greater news coverage recently and harmed a vast number of people is a Ponzi scheme.
In Baton Rouge, the crimes that make the headlines are frequently violent or drug related. However, the crime of fraud also occurs regularly. Those who are facing white collar crime charges might not realize the level of penalties they face if they're convicted. But, corporate crime is taken very seriously by law enforcement.
The term "white collar crime" commonly refers to a wide variety of unlawful activity, including embezzlement, tax fraud and insider trading. What these crimes have in common is their setting in the workplace, or as part of a person's occupation. The reference to shirt collars was meant to differentiate these activities from more violent crimes that take place at home or on the street. However, those who have faced allegations of white collar crimes will attest that there's nothing genteel about the charges they face and the penalties they will suffer if they are convicted.
White collar crime is a loosely defined category that includes embezzlement, tax fraud, insider trading and other sophisticated offenses. Because these crimes tend to occur in the workplace or be related to one's occupation, Louisiana residents can find it very difficult to find jobs after they have been hit with allegations of white collar crimes.
Louisiana residents may know the federal Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which was passed into law in 2002 after the scandals involving falsified accounting at Enron Corp. and WorldCom Inc. Among other things, the law was designed to stamp out wrongful corporate practices by prohibiting the destruction of certain kinds of records. This so-called anti-shredding law opened the door to new kinds of prosecutions for white collar crimes.
Louisiana residents who are accused of white collar crimes, such as fraud, embezzlement and insider trading, could find their professional lives in serious jeopardy. These crimes typically occur in the workplace, and therefore employers take the allegations very seriously. Many of the accused are suspended from work or lose their jobs long before they have had a chance to defend themselves in court. A conviction on these charges can damage a person's career long after any jail time has been served or fines have been paid.
When someone is charged with robbery or simple theft, Louisiana prosecutors rely on relatively straightforward evidence. They call witnesses, show security camera video to the jury and otherwise reveal direct evidence of the crime, if they can. Embezzlement, fraud and other white collar crimes typically involve much more complicated evidence that is harder to explain to a jury.
White collar crime is a loosely defined category of crimes that includes tax fraud, embezzlement, insider trading and other financial crimes. Those who are accused of these crimes in Louisiana face well-funded, well-prepared state and federal prosecutors. These prosecutors have access to sophisticated evidence and are experienced in presenting this type of material to a jury. And, if a top Justice Department official is to be believed, they may be on the move right now.