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Maria Butina Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Influence U.S. Politics

Accused Russian spy Maria Butina has changed her plea to guilty in federal court for conspiring to influence U.S. politics through her connections with the National Rifle Association (NRA). This comes as the first Russian national to be convicted of attempting to impact American politics around the same time as the 2016 presidential election. As part of the deal, the federal prosecutors dropped the charge for Butina not filing as an unregistered foreign agent.

NSA Employee Sentenced to 66 Months for Taking Hacking Tool Home

How far would you go to get a good performance review? Would you breach national security to study codes off the clock in the comfort of your own home?

Evidently that was the idea Nghia Hoang Pho had in mind, but it sure backfired. Instead of getting a promotion and increased pay grade, Pho was fired, sentenced to five and a half years in jail, and three years probation after pleading guilty to willful retention of classified national defense information.

Though U.S. District Judge George L. Russell III struggled in handing down the stiff sentence because there was no proof that Pho had any malicious intent when bringing the software and documents home, in the end, there was no denying Pho did the act. "We wouldn't be here if he'd just left the materials in the office," Russell said.

3 White-Collar Crimes for the Average Joe

White-collar crimes earned their nickname because they were crimes committed by business executives and people of high social status in the workplace who wore white collared shirts to the office. But high crimes are no longer just a playground for the rich. Here's a list of three white-collar crimes that are no longer limited to white collars.

Ex-Apple Employee Faces 10 Years for Theft of Self Driving Car Secrets

If you steal a candy bar, you may get scolded. Steal your employer's trade secrets, and you may end up broke and in jail. That could be the fate of ex-Apple employee, Xiaolang Zhang, as he faces a maximum of 10 years in a federal penitentiary and a $250,000 fine for allegedly stealing Apple's autonomous driving trade secrets, in violation of the 1996 Economic Espionage Act.

Trade secrets are incredibly valuable to tech companies. Intellectual property accounts for roughly 80% of the market value of all companies today, so you can be sure that companies will be doing whatever it takes to protect their secrets to both domestic and international poachers.

Elizabeth Holmes was 19 when she founded Theranos in 2003. At its peak, the blood-testing company was valued at $9 billion in 2013 and '14. Since then, the fall of Theranos and Holmes has been precipitous.

The company has faced numerous lawsuits from investors, clients, and customers, accusing it of overselling its testing technology, and Holmes herself has already faced and settled "massive fraud" charges from the Securities and Exchange Commission. Now the Theranos founder and former CEO, along with former President Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani, is facing a grand jury indictment on federal wire fraud charges.

An ongoing investigation against the Bicycle Hotel and Casino in Bell Gardens, a city in Los Angeles, resulted in federal agents raiding the casino and closing the gambling floor this week.

Since the warrant issued for the raid by a federal district court judge was filed under seal, there are only a few details about the investigation. However, this same casino was found, after a 1991 investigation, to have been built using drug money. Although numerous gamblers speculated that the raid was a result of rigged gaming tables, unnamed media sources clarified that the casino is under investigation for money laundering. Casino patrons holding stacks of chips will be pleased to know that the casino reopened this week after investigators finished their search. However, there may be some more legal trouble in their future, depending on what the search discovered.

3 Common Types of Tax Fraud

Taxes can be scary for many people. The system is not necessarily user friendly. While debtors’ prisons are supposed to be a thing of the past, failing to abide by tax laws can result in criminal penalties, including fines and jail time.

To make matters even more complicated, in addition to federal tax laws, there are also state and local tax laws that can have just as harsh, if not harsher, penalties, as one California man recently learned.

Below, you’ll find three common types of tax fraud.

Perjury and lying to the federal government are both crimes that could land a person in some serious legal trouble. If convicted of either crime, a person could be looking at up to five years in prison. This means that if a person is found to have lied during a congressional hearing or investigation, or simply lied to an FBI or other federal agent, actual jail time could result.

Today, Attorney General Jeff Sessions' faced allegations of lying to Congress. However, high profile prosecutions for lying to congress, feds, or even for perjury, don't happen very often.

While you might have the right to remain silent, you certainly don't have a right to lie to the police. State laws can vary when it comes to false statements, but lying during federal investigation is a felony carrying a potential five year prison sentence.

And that's just your standard, run-of-the-mill federal obstruction of justice charge. What about misleading the FBI regarding your alleged contact with the Russian ambassador?

While stacking up cash is part of the American dream, carrying those stacks around could actually land you in legal trouble. Despite being the grease that keeps the wheel turning, large sums of money, in cash, will raise the ire of law enforcement. And while having stacks of cash is not illegal, it can result in unwanted police attention, seizure of the cash, and even arrest if evidence of a crime is found.

Generally, individuals do not carry around thousands of dollars in cash because that much cash is bulky and the modern banking and credit industry has made it much more simple to have access to that sort of money via credit cards and mobile banking.

However, because of the modern banking laws which require certain types of transactions be reported, criminals that receive large sums of cash, such as drug dealers, tend to avoid putting money in the bank. As such, when law enforcement officers find large stacks of cash on an individual, there is a presumption that the cash is meant for an illegal purpose, and can be used as the basis for a more in-depth search of your person, property, vehicle or home.