Someone who is accused of money laundering in Pennsylvania may not be sure of what legal options they have. Oftentimes, charges of money laundering come about along with charges for other offenses, such as tax evasion or drug charges. However, even if someone is not convicted for those other offenses, the related money laundering charge could still result in a conviction.
The attorney general of Pennsylvania announced on Sept. 22 that 27 individuals had been taken into custody in a sweep following a statewide effort to combat white collar crime. The individuals are to be charged with various forms of insurance fraud ranging from forging prescriptions to claiming disability benefits while working. Kane said that insurance fraud costs the economy billions of dollars each year.
According to federal prosecutors, a former office manager for a Pennsylvania repossession company located in Whitehall Township reportedly embezzled almost $562,000 from the business. In addition, the woman allegedly underreported her income in order to avoid paying over $44,000 in federal taxes. On July 21, federal prosecutors charged her with tax evasion, identity theft and wire fraud. The federal charges are expected to replace charges filed against her in 2012.
After entering a not guilty plea to fraud charges last year, the attorney for the founder of an online Pennsylvania charter school is asking a federal judge to dismiss the charges against his client. A motion filed by the defense claims that some of the evidence includes illegal recordings of telephone conversations in which attorneys gave the defendant legal advice. The defense motion characterizes the conversations as protected by attorney-client confidentiality rules.
If a person has been accused of a nonviolent federal crime such as fraud, then it may be possible for that person to be released from police custody pending the trial. However, the general stipulation for remaining free during that time period is that the defendant must not leave the state and not commit any crimes.
Earlier this week, we discussed the federal gambling-related charges against a father and son in Montgomery County. The mother of the family was also facing a banking charge related to the gambling allegations, but a judge recently said the banking charge would be dropped. That is, if all of the other people charged in the case plead guilty to illegal gambling and racketeering.
Three years ago, using backhoes, the Federal Bureau of Investigation dug up the yard of a private residence in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Investigators uncovered PVC pipes containing $1 million in cash, and the owner of the home and his son, along with 14 others, were later charged with illegal gambling and racketeering.
It isn't uncommon that a major civil tax dispute leads to a criminal charge. The stakes are high in these cases, as a tax crime conviction can result in heavy restitution and prison time.
Federal allegations of fraud should always be taken seriously, and often the circumstances that lead to this kind of criminal charge are very complex, requiring close scrutiny of the evidence in the case. Fraud allegations are sometimes the result of oversight or a misunderstanding, and a criminal defense attorney may be able to achieve a reduction or dismissal of charges by effectively telling the defendant's story.
Being convicted of a white collar crime can often result in severe consequences that include long prison sentences. A woman has been arrested in Pennsylvania for alleged identify theft, but right now, police do not know who she actually is. In addition to the current white collar charges, she may face additional criminal counts for similar crimes that police believe she committed elsewhere in the region.