New York residents convicted of felonies can face severe consequences including loss of employment, financial hardship and prison time. But the most damning consequence may be the damage to one's reputation. A New York resident's legacy-personal or professional-can be tarnished by mere accusations. Take, for example, the recent case of almost two dozen former firefighters and police officers who were arrested for alleged disability fraud.
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.
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.
Recently, a trend has been noted of corporations that are able to pay gigantic fines in order to avoid criminal prosecution. Many executives of these companies pay settlements to the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) in order to avoid prosecution for white collar felonies. For example, Ralph Lauren, the U.S. fashion company, paid $1.6 million in fines to avoid prosecution for allegations that it bribed Argentinian officials to avoid customs inspections of its products entering into that country. Prosecutors in white collar crimes have used two main tools to pursue alleged offenders: non prosecution agreements (NPAs) and deferred prosecution agreements (DPAs). Both of these involve a statement of facts agreed to by both parties, a cash fine, and the appointment of a probation officer to prevent further criminal conduct in the future. Also, SEC Enforcement Division lawyers grant "consent decrees," which allow corporations to neither admit to nor deny wrongdoing. Critics allege that these tools allow corporations to buy their way out of criminal prosecutions.
Recently, a New York socialite known for her charitable activities was sentenced by a U.S. District Court to 19 months in prison for allegedly bilking several companies out of millions of dollars. The woman was charged with the felony of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The charges came out of a scam carried out over the course of a decade, where the woman went to several companies and claimed to be able to get them access to new markets and business opportunities in exchange for money. The woman then used the money to support a lavish lifestyle. She was indicted for fraud in 2008, and turned her life around during this time period, opening her New York home to the poor and volunteering with a non-profit group that helps former inmates rebuild their lives. She introduced several letters of support detailing her lifestyle turnaround at trial. Despite her good deeds, however, she was still given a jail sentence, in addition to an imposition of $7 million in restitution to be paid to the victims.
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.
A couple from New York is currently facing federal charges. They are accused of felonies including mail fraud and conspiracy to commit bank fraud. According to reports, the 66-year-old lawyer and his wife, both of Seneca Falls, were charged in mid-December. Each of the charges they face carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison, a $1 million fine, or possibly both.