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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in white collar crime

California defense attorney, California white collar lawsFirst provided a definition in 1939, white-collar crime has evolved to cover a wide range of fraud schemes. Mention the act and perhaps Martha Stewart or Bernard Madoff may come to mind.

In 2001, Ms. Stewart was found guilty of four counts related to her obstruction of a government investigation into the sale of ImClone Systems, Inc. stock. Although criminal charges of insider trading were not entered, Ms. Stewart was charged and prosecuted for lying about the reason for her sale of stock.

Fast forward to 2009 and perhaps one of the most notorious white-collar crimes ever. Bernie Madoff, known as a Wall Street pioneer, orchestrated the largest financial swindle in American history and knowingly admitted to his sons that his entire business was a masterful Ponzi scheme. His white-collar deception financially destroyed rich and poor alike and he is currently serving a 150-year sentence in a federal prison.

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criminal identity theft, San Jose criminal defense attorneyIdentity theft is one of the most common types of fraud committed in the United States. More than 15 million American residents have their identities stolen every year, costing the country—at either the state or federal level—up to $50 billion annually. There are some things that a person can do to combat identity theft, or to deal with it once it occurs. The first step to overcoming identity theft is to file a police report. To aid with this, a victim may also need to fill out a Federal Trade Commission Identity Theft Affidavit. If the identity theft has occurred through another government agency, such as via the theft of sensitive mail delivered by the United States Postal Service, a victim may also need to fill out an identity theft report with the USPS.

One particularly devastating type of identity theft is known as criminal identity theft, in which a person is held accountable for a crime that he or she did not commit because the perpetrator used a stolen identity at the time of arrest. This can happen more easily than you think—all a criminal needs to do is to give a law enforcement officer a stolen driver’s license or Social Security when he or she is detained on suspicion of a crime. While it may seem simple to rectify this situation of mistaken identity, once the process has begun, it can be very difficult to slow or change it.

Because this information is then recorded in both the state and federal criminal records databases, it can have long lasting effects that are seemingly irreversible. The scariest part of criminal identity theft is that there is little one can do to address it without the assistance of an experienced attorney. Even after a person has proved his innocence by submitting fingerprints or photographic proof, he or she may still face charges or even spend unnecessary time in jail because this information is on record. His or her name may trigger an alarm when buying gas at a gas station, or if pulled over for speeding. Red tape in the law enforcement system requires officers to arrest the individual before they are able to access the proper identifying information.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_identity-theft-fraud-electronic-theft.jpgFraud may be a common crime, though it is not without victims and not without serious consequence. The idea of “defrauding” someone often brings to mind images of people selling fake Rolexes from open jackets on a dark street corner, but the reality of fraud is much less noticeable, even when it is happening to you. As the world continues to modernize and we increasingly rely on technology to perform all of our daily functions—including those which involve money and the transferring of funds from one account to the other—the issue of identity theft is one type of fraud that has proportionately risen in prominence. Roughly 15 million Americans are victims of identity theft annually, resulting in financial losses totally at least $50 billion. All told, nearly 7 percent of all American adults have been the victim of identity theft.

It is true that identity theft used to be a crime most often perpetrated by large criminal organizations, with the capability of sophisticated tracking and phishing technology. As technology changes, however, so does the crime perpetrated via technology. One no longer needs to be a sophisticated criminal to simply hack into someone’s account, and the data sought after by identity thieves are no longer just bank accounts. The theft or unauthorized use of a person’s cell phone line, cable service, government benefits, and financial loans are other types of common identity theft, the number of which have continued to steadily increase in recent years.

Monitoring your financial assets can help you to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft. If you have already been the victim of such a crime, you can, free of charge, place a fraud alert on your credit reports and financial accounts to help avoid a similar circumstance in the future.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_child-identity-theft.jpgAs summer draws to a close, many children across the country are heading back to school. It is difficult as a parent to let your child go into an unknown world, unable to offer any sort of protection. You can only hope you have prepared them for another year of school, and get them on the bus. As if the stress of back to school was not enough on parents across the United States, there is another problem many parents are having to worry about; Child Identity Theft. It almost sounds like a joke, but child identity theft is a very large problem across the country that many families are encountering. Here is everything a parent should know about child identity theft.

Children under 18 are the newest victims of identity theft in America. No, the practice is not nearly as common as identity theft on adults, but it is a serious enough issue that parents should be aware and take caution. A 2012 study by the Identity Theft Assistance Center found that 2.5 percent of American households encountered child identity theft at some point. Commonly, a child’s social security number is stolen and then combined with a different date of birth. This allows the thief to use this new, “synthetic identity” for many things. Another frequent child identity theft practice is known as “friendly fraud.” This is when a family friend or family member uses the child’s identity for various financial purposes like applying for credit cards.

What makes child identity theft more dangerous than adult identity theft is that it is not easy to spot. Most parents, unless they have already opened accounts or credit cards for the child, are under the assumption that their child’s credit will remain clean and intact. This leads to years of unchecked credit, meanwhile the child’s identity could have been stolen. This means that often, by the time the theft is detected, the child’s credit is already ruined.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_white-collar-crime.jpgThe idea of white-collar crime is nothing new. It was, in fact, a term coined as far back as 1939, and is know a term that is nearly synonymous with business fraud or any serious fraud, cheating, lying, or stealing perpetuated by business or executive professionals. While it may seem a lofty crime, one that does not necessarily affect its victims immediately and physically the way that violent crime does, white-collar crimes are in no way victimless. One executive who has the responsibility and ability to control one family’s finances, for example, can destroy that family’s well-being and future with the click of a mouse.

During the economic downturn of 2008 and 2009, the national dialogue focused, briefly, on just how serious these crimes truly are, and what appropriate punishments look like. Critics of the way that the government handled the crash and the recovery say that the government did not address the executives who were, at least in part, responsible for causing the crash.

There are many types of white-collar crime that the FBI recognizes. Some of these include, but are not limited to:

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