Running a multi-million dollar business or any business for that matter can be extremely difficult and complex for a business owner. The accounting alone can cause headaches and, unfortunately, mistakes. When those mistakes lead to confusion, allegations may be leveled against the business owner accusing him of improper and illegal conduct. Those who find themselves accused of White collar crimes should seek immediate legal assistance, as can be seen by a recent instance in New York.

There, a contractor who ran preschool programs for children with developmental disabilities was arrested for allegedly diverting government money meant for the program for his own use. According to reports, the owner of Bilingual SEIT is accused of inflating the cost of employees and contractors, then accepting kickbacks from government payments to those employees and contractors. The business has been under suspicion since 2011, and in 2012 the New York State comptroller’s office alleged Bilingual SEIT had misused nearly $1.5 million. The business owner’s contracts with the government have since been cancelled and he has been charged with mail Fraud and Conspiracy to commit mail fraud.

Penalties for Fraud convictions are very serious. The charges levied in the case mentioned above are Felonies capable of imprisoning the accused individual for 20 years for each charge. Fines, too, may be excessive. Also, as evidenced by the case above, these allegations can ruin an individual’s business and severely damage his reputation. With so much on the line, an individual accused of a white collar crime owes it to himself to find competent representation.

To challenge allegations of fraud, a New York attorney may challenge whether there was intent to defraud. According to mail fraud statutes, one must have intended to defraud using the mail in order to be convicted. An attorney may gather evidence, interview witnesses, and call on the defendant to testify, should he agree, in an attempt to establish a lack of intent.

These acts, coupled with aggressive oral advocacy, will maximize an accused individual’s chances of obtaining an acquittal or getting charges dropped. Also, an attorney can be a defendant’s face for the public, helping to protect his reputation so when the ordeal comes to an end he will hopefully be able to return to his normal life without any negative stigma attached.

Source: The New York Times, “Contractor Who Ran Special Education Pre-K Programs Is Charged With Fraud,” Emma G. Fitzsimmons, Nov. 7, 2013