Archive for the ‘White collar crime’ Category
January 25th, 2016 at 10:58 am
Counterfeiting is a serious crime that involves the illegal and unauthorized reproduction of legal tender (i.e., money), goods or documents that is made in a way that would likely fool an unsuspecting recipient of the counterfeited item. It is a form of fraud with very serious consequences. Common examples of counterfeiting include:
- Counterfeit U.S. or foreign currency;
- Counterfeit government issued bonds;
- Counterfeit educational degrees;
- Counterfeit legal documents (i.e., passports, birth certificates, immigration papers, Social Security cards, etc.);
- Counterfeit common goods, which includes knock off products;
- Counterfeit of a trademark;
- Counterfeit credit cards or debit cards;
- Counterfeit luxury goods, such as name brand watches, sunglasses or purses; and
- Counterfeit checks.
Advances in printing technology have made it substantially easier to commit this white collar crime than in decades past. This means that more people have the ability to create counterfeit items with a high level of accuracy in terms of resembling the real thing. Counterfeiting is usually a fairly large operation, as it requires someone to make the counterfeit item, but operations also often include someone to sell the counterfeit item. Simply being caught with a counterfeit item with the intent to distribute or sell the item is illegal.
Counterfeiting is a crime at both the state and federal level.
- In Illinois, the counterfeiting laws include:
- Counterfeiting Credit or Debit Cards. Counterfeiting is specifically defined under 720 ILCS 5/17-0.5 as the manufacture, creation or production of a credit or debit card without authorization or consent from the purported issuer of the card.
- Counterfeiting Goods or Trademarks. 765 ILCS 1040/1 addresses what constitutes a counterfeit item, or trademark and 765 ILCS 1040/2 details the crime of using or circulating counterfeit or imitation goods.
- At the federal level, federal counterfeit law includes:
- 18 U.S.C. Section 471. Under this law, it is illegal to defraud, forge, counterfeit, falsely make, or alter any form of money, security or obligation of the United States.
Counterfeiting Money Is the Most Popular Form of Counterfeiting
Counterfeiting money is the most popular form of counterfeiting in the United States, with the $20 bill being the most commonly counterfeit dollar bill. If too much fake money enters into circulation, U.S. currency will lose value. The federal government has spent a lot of time and money trying to design complicated currency with a number of counterfeit prevention and detection features. The government takes counterfeiting of money very seriously and prosecutes it aggressively.
Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
There are significant consequences to be faced if you are convicted on counterfeiting charges. If you have been notified by the authorities that you are being investigated for counterfeit operations, an experienced white collar crime lawyer can help you with your criminal defense. Contact a passionate Rolling Meadows white collar crime defense attorney to discuss the specifics of your case with a professional today. We are prepared to help you with your case.
January 11th, 2016 at 9:24 am
When an act of forgery involves money in someway, the crime is generally characterized as a white collar crime. According to 720 ILCS 5/17-3, forgery occurs when a person knowingly, with the intent to defraud someone else, makes a false document, object or statistic, or alters any of these to make them false. The forgery must be capable of defrauding another individual. Simply supplying a document that you know to be false can be considered forgery, as can merely having a forged document in your possession, with the intent to defraud another.
Forgeries can take many forms. Some of the most common examples of forgery include:
Forged documents are commonly used in identity theft cases. One person poses as another by misrepresenting their identity, which can be as simple as filling out a form as if you were someone else, or manufacturing a fake passport or driver’s license with your photo, but someone else’s personal identification information. These crimes often arise when a person tries to take out a line of credit or obtain a credit card with personal identification information that has been misappropriated or stolen.
Counterfeiting is related to forgery, but is a more serious offense. Counterfeiting, for the most part, falls to the purview of federal jurisdiction (meaning it is a federal crime), but Illinois law also tackles the crime under the deception and frauds statutes, 720 ILCS 5/17-0.5. Counterfeiting occurs where a person manufactures something that is fake, but acts or uses the manufactured item as if it were legitimate, authorized or real. A person can counterfeit, or manufacture, any number of items, including but not limited to fake money, passports, IDs, credit cards, legal papers, and goods.
When it comes to writing bad checks, there are two main types: issuing a check when you know that there are insufficient funds to cover the check’s value, and fraudulently issuing a check (either posing as someone else, or using a fraudulently obtained or stolen check). Issuing bad checks can fall under the umbrella of forgery if some aspect of the bad check is deceptive, and the person who “issues” the check does so with the intent of defrauding the recipient of the check.
What Defenses Can Be Used for Forgery Charges?
When you are charged with forgery, there are a number of defenses that could be raised on your behalf. For instance, if someone posed as you – i.e. stole your identity – and then committed forgery, you are not the person who had the intent to defraud, and you were not the person involved in the forgery. You were merely a victim of identity theft.
It is also possible that your forgery charges could be defended against if you lacked knowledge that you were committing a forgery, which is commonly tied to lacking the intent to defraud someone. Simply making a mistake on important paperwork, or failing to notice a mistake, is not fraud or forgery, unless you had the intent to defraud another. An experienced criminal lawyer can go over the details of your alleged crime, and can help you develop the best legal defense you have available in light of the specific facts of your case.
Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
Forgery charges are serious charges. When you need a white collar crime lawyer, contact a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help you protect your rights in your criminal case.
November 3rd, 2015 at 8:35 pm
Falsifying financial documents can take many forms: falsifying tax returns, bank statements, financial records, accounting documents, earnings reports, securities information, income statements, signatures, and checks are all actions that are meant to deceive the recipient of the falsified document into believing one thing, when the truth is another. These types of white collar crimes constitute deception-based crimes, which take advantage of someone else for personal financial gain.
Under 720 ILCS 5/17-3, a person is guilty of committing forgery if he or she knowingly makes a false document or alters a document to make it false with the intent to defraud someone such that the forged document is capable of defrauding another. Forgery can including knowingly giving someone a forged document, with the intent to defraud the recipient, or simply being found in possession of a forged document with the intent to deliver the forged document to someone, with the intent to defraud.
Forgery is generally a Class 3 felony; however, if the forgery is of a coin or an academic degree, it is a Class A misdemeanor, but if the forgery is of a Universal Price Code Label, it is a Class 4 felony.
Tax fraud is another common white collar crime that often involves the falsifying of financial documents in an effort to decrease the amount of state or federal taxes that are owed to the government. While no one ever wants to pay more in taxes than they have to, every person has a legally imposed tax obligation that they are required to pay. Of course there are a number of deductions, tax credits, and tax breaks that eligible individuals may take advantage of, and when these benefits are calculated and accounted properly there is no problem.
However, some people might under-represent their earnings, fail to include or document a large transaction, or might forget about a large monetary “gift” they received during the year, and fail to report it for tax purposes. For example, knowingly evading the payment of any sales tax owed to the State of Illinois is a felony crime under 35 ILCS 120/13(b), and the seriousness of the penalties for this offense depend upon the total amount of sales tax that was not paid. These types of actions are fraud if the person who does them does so with the intention of defrauding the tax authorities.
But that is not to say that making a mistake on your taxes is the same thing as tax fraud. Filing your taxes is complicated and requires filling out a lot of different forms and schedules, and people are bound to make mistakes. A mistake could be a valid defense to tax fraud criminal charges if there is proof that an error was made.
Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
If you have been charged with a white collar crime, such as forgery or tax fraud, it is important that you need to get into contact with a Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney immediately in order to preserve and protect your rights. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at (847) 394-3200 for help today.
August 10th, 2015 at 8:10 am
Some types of crimes are motivated purely by financial gain, and these types of crimes are called “white collar” crimes, referring to the non-violent and money-centric nature of these crimes. White collar crimes often involve fraud in some form, dishonest behavior, or the inappropriate handling of funds or money that belongs to someone else. White collar crimes are often characterized by a highly complicated scheme devised to improperly make or steal money without anyone either noticing that money is missing or being able to easily identify the source of the theft. When white collar crimes happen, many people are affected and victimized.
Most Common White Collar Crimes
There are a number of white collar crimes that result in criminal charges. Fraud is the most common white collar offense, and it takes many forms. Wire, mail and internet fraud; business, business investment, and business opportunity fraud; bank, insurance and mortgage fraud; medicare-medicaid fraud; and securities fraud are some of the most highly popularized and widely reported white collar crimes in the media. For example, failed Ponzi schemes and insider trading are two white collar crimes that many people have heard about in the news due to the high profile individuals that have been involved in these crimes.
Misrepresentation is another common basis upon which white collar crimes are perpetrated. Misrepresentation is the underlying action behind criminal charges for crimes such as falsifying financial documents, falsifying tax documents, and forgery. Tax evasion, corruption, embezzlement and money laundering are all common white collar crimes that are also based on dishonest behavior and the improper handling of money.
Investigation for a White Collar Crime
When law enforcement suspects someone of being involved in a financially motivated crime, they will often openly inform the suspect that they are conducting an investigation. Due to the convoluted nature of the crime, it may take police a significant amount of time to sort out the specifics of the case.
However, in some white collar cases, innocent people get swept up in the mess. It can be difficult to determine ultimate liability, since the whole scheme may be orchestrated so that many unsuspecting people are involved, thereby depleting liability by spreading out accountability to many other people. Sometimes an employee was simply following orders, and had no idea that their actions contributed to something criminal. Whatever the case might be, if you are notified that you are under investigation for the commission of a white collar crime, you need to seek the help and guidance of an experienced white collar criminal defense lawyer immediately.
Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
If you have been charged with one of these white collar crimes, or have been informed that you are being investigated, you need to get into contact with a dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney immediately. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. Our phone number is (847) 394-3200.
May 18th, 2015 at 12:08 pm
Often times politicians and government employees frustrate the taxpayer. Most of the time this is just a matter of political disagreement, and while it can lead to heated disagreements, the criminal justice system does not get involved. However, sometimes things go a bit further and there are actual accusations of criminal wrongdoing. In many situations government employees and public officials have protections from being prosecuted for doing their jobs, but there are lines that they can be accused of crossing. One crime of which they may be accused is known as official misconduct.
What is Official Misconduct?
Official misconduct is divided into two types. One type is official misconduct by a public officer or employee or special government agent, while the other is official misconduct by an employee of a law enforcement agency. The first type of official misconduct occurs when any of the covered individuals does any of the following when acting in his or her official capacity or capacity as a special government agent:
- Fails to perform his or her mandatory duties;
- Conducts an act that he or she knows he or she is legally prohibited from performing;
- Performs an act in excess of his or her lawful authority intending on obtaining a personal benefit for him or herself or another; or
- Solicits or accepts a fee or reward which he or she knows is not authorized by law for performing an act.
Committing any of these acts can result in the official or employee losing his or her job and being charged with a Class 3 felony. Official misconduct by a law enforcement agency employee happens when he or she uses information obtained through his or her employment with the intention of interfering with the investigation, apprehension, or prosecution of a crime. The official misconduct statute is not the only one that applies to police officers. They are also governed by a gang-activity statute.
Police Prohibited from Gang Activity
It may seem obvious that police are not allowed to be gang members, but there is actually a statute that deals specifically with gang activity by police officers. It is against the law for a police officer or a corrections officer (prison guard) to knowingly commit an act that furthers gang-related activity unless the officer is doing it to further an undercover law enforcement investigation. Violating this law is a Class 3 felony, meaning it can carry prison time.
Call the Law Office of Christopher M. Cosley
If you are a public official who has been charged with a crime related to your public duties, you will need the help of a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley now at (847)394-3200. We will schedule an appointment at your convenience to discuss your case and figure out how we can help.
October 16th, 2014 at 10:50 am
White collar crime is often not considered as serious as other types of criminal conduct, but it is often punished just as harshly. Depending on the type of crime and the severity of the offense, the defendant could be looking at a substantial amount in prison. In many cases, white collar crimes may be prosecuted at the federal level in federal court. Such cases involve slightly different laws and procedure, plus the imposition of a federal prison term.
There has been discussion in Illinois and across the country recently about sentencing reform, decriminalization of certain criminal acts, and shorter prison terms. All of this is likely in an effort to achieve both fair and practical effects by both reforming the criminal justice system and decreasing prison populations. According to recent report, there has been an important shift in the federal prison population toward those ends.
First Drop in Decades
The federal prison population has decreased by about 4,800 inmates in the last year. The Justice Department reports that this marks the first time the number has gone down in several decades. In addition, the Justice Department reportedly projects that the prison population will be about 215,000 inmates at the end of the current budget year, which would reflect a total decrease of about 5,000 from the same count taken just one year ago. If that happens, it would mark the first time since 1980 that the federal prison population has actually declined over the course of a year.
Going forward, it seems as though the trend will continue. The Bureau of Prisons released internal figures that show an expected decrease of over 2,000 prisoners to happen in the next year, and almost another 10,000-inmate decrease the year after that.
What is Causing the Shift?
In commenting on what factors have contributed to the decline in federal inmates, Attorney General Eric Holder said that a decrease in crime rates has had an effect on prison populations.
Holder has been working to reduce prison populations across the country over the course of the past year. His efforts included taking actions such as discouraging prosecutors from charging nonviolent offenders with crimes that would carry mandatory minimum sentences, to encouraging certain prisoners to apply for clemency, to supporting reduced sentencing guidelines. He is also encouraging the government to measure the success of its criminal justice policies by how many people are prosecuted and sentenced to prison. He is purportedly of the opinion that the idea of using enforcement as the measure of success is outdated and that a holistic approach is preferable and more useful.
Criminal Defense Attorney
If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime in the Chicago area, you need an experienced Rolling Meadows defense attorney to advocate for your rights. Contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today to schedule a consultation to discuss your case. We have successful experience representing clients in Cook County and surrounding areas.
August 14th, 2013 at 10:49 am
White collar crimes most often have dishonesty or cheating as their base, as entrepreneurs or other businessmen or women commit nonviolent, illegal activities behind the cover of their legitimate businesses.
Because white collar crimes are nonviolent, they usually have a lesser punishment than other criminal activities, but the punishments often include heavy fines and sometimes jail time.
Although dishonesty in a business setting is the common background for all white collar crimes, this category of criminal activity has a very broad spectrum and is hard to define. In order to avoid allowing loopholes in the law for these well-educated, intelligent criminals, the federal and state governments in America have laws that protect against specific, more common white collar crimes, but also general white collar crime laws to catch everything in one law.
Tax crimes are great examples of more common white collar crimes. Usually people are charged with tax crimes alongside other white collar crimes. Tax crimes include failing to file your tax returns, interfering with internal revenue laws administration and filing fake tax returns.
There are specific laws against tax crimes that prohibit crimes such as bribing tax officials, extortion and obstruction. Other more broad laws, though, will catch other types of tax crimes that do not have their own specific laws.
Another law against white collar crimes is the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). This is a federal law that finds people guilty of violation if they have participated in “racketeering activity” in relation to any interstate commerce or if they have participated in the collection of unlawful debts.
Racketeering activities at the state level include the following:
- dealing obscene materials,
- dealing narcotics, and
- dealing other dangerous drugs.
When RICO was created, these were the most pertinent criminal activities in the white collar community, however, more recently, RICO has been used to charge against other illegal activities as well.
If you have been charged with racketeering, tax crimes or some other white collar crime, contact a criminal attorney for assistance in Rolling Meadows, Ill. Attorney Chris Cosley will help you with your criminal case today.
July 23rd, 2013 at 8:47 am
White collar crimes cover a very broad spectrum because there is no exact definition. Most often, however, white collar crimes are thought of as crimes committed by business people that involve cheating and dishonesty. Usually these people commit these crimes under the cover of a legitimate business as well, so the crime can remain hidden for a long time without suspicion.
Because it is very difficult to create a definition that defines all white collar crimes, there are federal laws and state laws that are specific to certain types of white collar crimes and also umbrella laws that encompass anything else.
Here are two examples of white collar crimes:
Obstruction of Justice
Obstruction of justice can be committed in many ways, as long as it somehow interferes with one of the three branches of government. Some examples of obstruction include influencing a juror outside the courtroom, altering a record process, obstructing any criminal investigation by law officials and assaulting a process server.
Other actions that many be prosecuted as obstruction of justice include using any sound amplification device, picketing or parading in front of any building occupied by a court office, witness, juror or judge.
When anyone willfully and knowingly swears to tell the truth, it is not taken lightly. If someone swears to honesty orally or in writing and speaks falsely under oath, they will be charged with perjury. Under this piece of the law, it is also illegal for someone to force someone else to commit perjury.
If you have been accused of committing a white collar crime such as obstruction of justice, perjury or some other form of a white collar crime, contact attorney Chris Cosley in Rolling Meadows, Ill. Cosley criminal attorneys will do everything they can to assist you with your white collar crime court case today.
May 16th, 2013 at 8:37 am
White collar crimes are not specifically defined, however, they are most often considered to be a variety of nonviolent crimes that are based around dishonesty and/or cheating. Usually, these crimes are committed by entrepreneurs and other professionals in the business area that are under the cover of a legitimate business activity. White collar crimes also typically have a lesser punishment than other crimes because they are nonviolent. Although these crimes do not have severe punishments, they do usually involve very heavy fines, and can include jail time. There are very specific laws that prohibit white collar crime activities, but many of them are covered in less specific catch-all laws that prohibit dishonest behavior.
If someone take another’s money or property by ways of an official job position of trust or through abuse, they have committed embezzlement. For example, an accountant with access to all personal financial information may falsify records to gain a profit from his or her client(s). Bank tellers, as well, have easy access to finances and may walk away each day with a small amount of money from a client instead of placing it in the client’s account as he or she should.
Although the crime that is making a false statement is not only a white collar crime, it is also included within white collar crimes along with other types of crimes. This is one of many more broad laws that will catch white collar criminals in their wrong doings and allow for punishment. In order to convict someone of making a false statement, proof is required of the statement that contains false information and that statement must be made willingly and knowingly by the speaker.
If you have been accused of a white collar crime, contact a criminal attorney for assistance. Attorney Chris Cosley will help to fight for alleged white collar criminals in Rolling Meadows, Ill. today.
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March 6th, 2013 at 8:00 am
In a surprising turn of events, Jesse Jackson Jr. went from a man with huge political aspirations to someone who seems to have lost control. The Democratic Representative from Chicago stepped down recently while being investigated and dealing with health issues. He pleaded guilty to one felony fraud charge on Wednesday February 20th to secure a plea deal. He was charged with fraud for using $750,000 in campaign money to pay for his lavish living expenses.
The court filed a 22 page report which outlines the spending habits of a politician who many thought would one day run for Mayor in Chicago or President of the US. It started when Jesse opened a campaign account and then withdrew nearly $45,000 to purchase a Rolex watch. He went on to purchase “high-end electronic items, collector’s items, clothing, food and supplies for daily consumption, movie tickets, health club dates, personal travel, and personal dining expenses,” according to the prosecution.
The details of his plea agreement allow his punishment range to be between 46 to 57 months in prison. Though, it is not set in stone because both the defense and prosecution can influence the sentencing of the case. The defense will urge the judge to consider probation given Jesse’s recent diagnosis of bipolar disorder.
Jesse’s wife Sandi has also been charged with assisting the cover-up of this fraud. Sandi was formerly an alderman for the city of Chicago. She pleaded guilty of failing to report that money from her aldermanic campaign was used as personal income also for failing to report this income on her tax return. Her possible sentencing will be in the range of 1 to 2 years in prison.
What was once a promising career in politics for the Jackson may now be forever damaged. White collar crimes can ruin reputations and result in jail time. If you have been charged with any white collar crime, then it is important to receive legal guidance. Contact a skilled criminal defense attorney in Rolling Meadows today.