Not all criminal offenses involve violent crimes like robbery, rape and murder. Some criminal charges in New York may stem from financial transactions where one person commits or a group of people conspire to commit a crime, mainly for financial gain. This type of behavior is often referred to as a white-collar crime, to distinguish it from violent offenses.
Although the term "white collar crime" may not ring a bell for all White Plains, New York, residents, this type of crime is quite common. White collar crimes include fraud, theft, embezzlement and money laundering. Convictions for such crimes come with severe consequences.
A 34-year-old Bronx man was recently taken into custody on fraud charges in Salem, New Hampshire. The man allegedly attempted to use another person's identity to send iPads to his home country of Ghana.
In New York City, authorities are investigating as many as 100 former city workers for allegedly collecting disability pensions despite being apparently healthy, performing rigorous physical tasks or working other jobs.
As an expression, "the long arm of the law" has more than one meaning. One veteran Yonkers police officer is discovering that truth firsthand.
Recently, a study done by the Manhattan District Attorney's office highlighted perceived weaknesses in New York's criminal laws in combating sophisticated online fraud and other white collar-crimes. The report recommends that the state of New York update its criminal laws in order to better combat white-collar felonies.
Recently, a federal appeals court reversed a lower court's lenient sentence for conspiracy and money laundering of a chief executive of an Ohio technology firm that collapsed in 2003 due to alleged fraud. This sentence is evidence that defendants convicted of white collar felonies may receive more lenient treatment in the legal system than those convicted of other crimes. The judge in the case received letters of support from those who knew the defendant, and imposed a mere seven-day sentence for the crime of fraud, despite the fact that sentencing guidelines mandate an 8-10 year sentence based on the $18 million loss to the company's shareholders due to the fraud. The appeals court struck down the sentence, stating that the judge abused her discretion by taking into account factors that were not allowed in imposing sentences.
Recently, federal authorities investigated the use of the international banking group HSBC by a group of NYC men accused of trafficking in drugs. The men were additionally accused of laundering money, and the investigation ultimately resulted in a $1.9 billion settlement between the bank and the federal government.
Recently, Standard Chartered Bank has been forced to pay a large fine of $340 million to the state of New York for allegedly laundering money to Iran over a time period of seven years. The state of New York's action in this case raises the question of the appropriateness of a state's prosecuting these particular felonies. Federal authorities had the information necessary to prosecute the bank for five years, but they did not act before the state authorities did.