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.
A Pennsylvania insurance agent has been charged in federal court with several white collar crimes after insurance companies complained that the woman circumvented their policies regarding older applicants. Prosecutors allege that the agent misled the providers about a client's age and financial situation in order to collect larger commissions from selling insurance to the client.
Federal authorities in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, have charged a former professor at Penn State University with laundering money from the federal government and lying on grant application forms. Prosecutors claim the man took more than $3.1 million in grant money between 2006 and 2011 and used it for himself instead of scientific research. If convicted, he could be sentenced to up to 35 years in prison and fined up to $750,000.
After four weeks of testimony, the jury in the money laundering trial of the wife and son of the former CEO of LeNature's Inc. found the defendants guilty on Nov. 29. Though the jury found the wife, 50, not guilty of two charges, they convicted her of three counts of money laundering and one count of conspiracy. Her son was convicted of four counts of money laundering and a count of conspiracy.
Recently, Robert Stinson Jr. entered a guilty plea to fraud and money laundering, with no plea agreement in place. With a number of charges filed against him in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, he faces sentences totaling up to 329 years. Authorities claim his confession acknowledges using an investment firm as a front for a Ponzi scheme. They claim he admits to simply spending investor funds without attempting to reinvest them. They accuse him of just spending it all on a lavish lifestyle.
A fraud investigation has led to state charges and the possibility of federal charges being filed against a Pennsylvania couple. The 36-year-old husband and his 35-year-old wife ran a tax preparation service and they now stand accused of pocketing a portion of their client's tax refunds.
Ever since the financial crisis began, federal investigators and prosecutors have been taking a hard line against people accused of financial fraud. The punishment for these types of crimes can involve lengthy prison sentences and huge fines. The recent prosecutions arising out of the failure of Dwelling House Savings and Loan Association illustrate this phenomenon.
Tom DeLay, the former majority leader and majority whip in the U.S. House of Representative, earned the nickname "The Hammer" for his hard driving and uncompromising style. However, some commentators believe that his uncompromising nature has led him to receive a longer sentence than he might have received had he been more apologetic during his prosecution for white collar crimes. Allegedly, DeLay used illegal means to funnel corporate contributions to Republican candidates during the 2002 election in Texas.
State and federal prosecutors announced charges last month against members of an alleged international criminal conspiracy to use an internet banking Trojan to steal millions from U.S. bank accounts. Nine people in New York and one person in the Pittsburgh area have been arrested so far. Counting state and federal charges, more than 80 people could be charged.