White Collar Crime - FindLaw Blotter

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White-collar criminals might not look like the typical gangster in TV or movies, but they are breaking the law nonetheless, and often doing serious financial damage in the process. Whether bilking your grandmother out of her retirement funds or embezzling from your retirement fund, white-collar crime can take many forms and is often perpetrated by people trusted with access and authority.

Here are seven of the biggest white-collar crime concerns right now:

Feds Indict 11 Polygamous Church Leaders for Food Stamp Fraud

Federal prosecutors this week indicted 11 members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) for conspiracy to commit fraud and money laundering. They are accused of swindling millions of dollars from the government's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which is intended to help low-income individuals and families buy food.

The accused are part of a polygamous sect living in Utah and South Dakota. Those already arrested on the fraud charges pled not guilty. But the church's founder, Warren Jeffs, is serving a sentence of life in prison on child sex abuse convictions and, NPR reports, many church members believe this latest move proves the federal government is persecuting them for their religious beliefs.

Things are going from bad to worse for price gouging pharma bro Martin Shkreli. Just days after he gained Internet infamy for jacking up the price of life-saving drugs some 5,000 percent, it was revealed that federal prosecutors are investigating Shkreli on criminal charges related to his former biotech company.

Shkreli allegedly admitted to owing his former company profits from insider information stock trading and is accused of misappropriation of company funds and defrauding shareholders.

What Happens When a Company Gets Indicted?

Like individuals, companies can be indicted if they violate criminal laws. So what happens when a corporation is criminally charged?

This has just happened to California's largest utility, Pacific Gas and Electric. The company is facing 12 federal criminal charges stemming from a 2010 gas pipeline explosion that killed eight people and leveled a suburban neighborhood. Prosecutors allege that the company didn't conduct required inspections that may have prevented the massive blast, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

So when a company like PG&E is criminally charged, what happens next? The answer will vary by case, but here are a few common questions and answers:

Banker Who Faked Own Death Busted by Window Tint

A Georgia banker who allegedly faked his own death in 2012 to escape massive wire and security fraud charges was caught and arrested on New Year's Eve.

To clarify, 47-year-old Aubrey Lee Price was apprehended during a routine traffic stop, not an existential one.

Will Price face criminal repercussions (on Earth) for faking his death?

Using a Fake ID? 5 Potential Legal Consequences

Using a fake ID can lead to serious legal consequences. While it may be tempting to use a fake ID for acts that seem “innocent” or “victimless” — such as purchasing alcohol to drink in your own home — think again. Fake ID-related acts are no joke, and you could be in more trouble than you’ve bargained for.

So before you memorize all the fake info on that little card you somehow got your hands on, keep in mind these potential criminal consequences that could land you behind bars:

How to Spot a Federal Election Crime

Election Day is here, and as we hit the ballot box, some overzealous campaigners may be accused of illegal tactics and charged with federal election crimes.

Election crimes like voter fraud, ballot stuffing, and illegal financing may seem like harmless and minor issues to some, but authorities take the offense very seriously.

Here's how to spot the three types of federal election crimes, as described by the FBI:

Money Laundering Scheme Sent Medicare Money to Cuba

Oscar Sanchez was arrested last week for a money laundering scheme that sent millions of Medicare dollars to Cuba.

Prosecutors claim that Sanchez helped launder $31 million in fraudulent Medicare payments. His check-cashing business made it possible for Sanchez to launder Medicare checks and wire payments between 2005 and 2009, according to The Miami Herald.

This is the first money laundering scheme out of Miami that directly links Medicare fraud dollars to Cuba. The organization of the scheme was designed to hide the final destination of funds from the authorities.

Vegas Priest Stole $650K to Feed Gambling Habit

A federal judge sentenced Las Vegas priest Monsignor Kevin McAuliffe, 59, to three years in prison earlier today.

The Roman Catholic priest pleaded guilty in October to embezzling $650,000 from the gift shop, candle collection, mission and prayer funds at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Summerlin.

He allegedly used the funds to support his gambling habit.

Is It Illegal to Bounce a Check?

There may come a time when your checking account is low. Bills may be due, but your paycheck won't be issued for another few days. Should you still write a check? What if it bounces? Is it illegal to bounce a check? What if you have overdraft protection?

These are all incredibly important questions for anyone on a fixed budget. But the answers are unfortunately not very positive.

Bouncing a check is also known as writing a bad check. And bad check laws generally make the practice illegal.