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White Collar Crimes Archives

Business owner pleads guilty to wire fraud

On April 5, a 55-year-old Louisiana business owner entered a guilty plea in federal court to a single count of wire fraud. He submitted a total of eight false applications to three different finance companies, and his fraud netted him $294,000. The owner of Ameritek Office Solutions acknowledged that there were no sales or deliveries of office equipment.

Michael Avenatti charged with extortion, embezzlement and fraud

Michael Avenatti became a familiar face on television screens in Louisiana and around the country in 2018 when he filed lawsuits against President Trump and attorney Michael Cohen on behalf of adult film actress Stormy Daniels. Daniels has since fired Avenatti, and the 48-year-old litigator's fortunes took another turn for the worse on March 25 when he was taken into custody in New York on extortion charges and charged in Los Angeles with embezzlement. The beleaguered attorney faces up to 100 years in prison if convicted on all charges.

Trump campaign chair Manafort sentenced for fraud

Louisiana residents who have been following the Justice Department's investigation into alleged collusion between the Donald Trump campaign and the Russian government will likely know that the only person brought to trial so far by Special Counsel Robert Mueller is the president's former campaign chief Paul Manafort. Federal guidelines recommended a custodial sentence of between 19 and 24 years for the eight counts Manafort was found guilty of, but a federal judge in Virginia chose to send Manafort to prison for 47 months instead. He also imposed a $50,000 fine and ordered Manafort to make restitution in the amount of $24.8 million.

Doctor and employee have pleaded guilty to Medicare fraud

The US Attorneys Office in Baton Rouge, Louisiana scored a major victory against a Baton Rouge doctor for submitting false Medicare claims. The doctor entered a guilty plea of conspiracy to commit health care fraud involving several millions of dollars. The doctor has not yet been sentenced but will most likely face jail time. The case was prosecuted in federal court rather than state court, presumably because Medicare claims were involved.

When insurance fraud can be considered a crime.

Insurance contracts are basically private contracts between the insurer or the insurance company and the insured. People in Baton Rouge, Louisiana who are contemplating a scam on an insurance company should be aware that this may be a criminal offense. It is generally considered a white collar crime, but this has no effect on penalties involved.

Louisiana man pleads guilty to wire fraud

A 39-year-old Louisiana man faces decades behind bars after pleading guilty to three counts of wire fraud on Jan. 7. Each count carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years and a fine of up to $250,000. The Bossier City resident is scheduled to be sentenced on May 2. Prosecutors say that he stole more than $180,000 from Walmart, Target and Sam's Club stores. The matter was being heard by a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana.

High-profile Louisiana official charged with fraud

The Louisiana State Police has arrested a member of the state tax commission on charges related to financial misconduct. Following an investigation by the Louisiana Legislative Auditor and the LSP Criminal Investigation Division, the 51-year-old man was taken in on Jan. 11 on suspicion of fraud and malfeasance.

Charges filed in staged accident case

Seven individuals were taken into custody for staging a car accident in Louisiana. After the staged crash, the individuals filed false insurance claims to obtain compensation for property loss and bodily injury. The crash took place in October 2016, and an investigation into the accident began in August 2018. At that time, authorities received a tip from the Louisiana Department of Insurance regarding the accident that took place at Law Street and Forstall Street in Orleans Parish.

Louisiana investment broker sentenced to 14 years in prison

A Louisiana investment advisor was sentenced to 14 years in a federal prison on Nov. 13 for stealing as much as $1.5 million dollars from his clients. The 71-year-old Mandeville resident was also ordered to forfeit $1.1 million and pay his investors back another $1.1 million. Should the man live long enough to complete his sentence, he will be required to serve three years of supervised release. Reports indicate that the man was sentenced as part of a plea agreement he entered into with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Louisiana.

Two convicted in Medicaid fraud investigation

Two people in Louisiana were convicted on welfare charges after being accused of running a scheme that cost the state over $1 million in unearned benefits. A 39-year-old woman filed a guilty plea on one count of felony theft. While she only took responsibility for one criminal charge, she was also ordered to repay $1,059,709.76 in restitution for the money obtained through the fraud as well as $300,000 in civil financial penalties. She was also ordered to obtain a new home mortgage in order to repay the state of Louisiana for Medicaid funds that she had used to pay the original mortgage.