Many white collar crimes are federal felony offenses that can result in lengthy prison sentences. In criminal cases involving financial crimes, evidence plays a crucial role. Evidence in financial crimes cases, including cases alleging fraud, is usually based on paper trail evidence that follows the flow of money.
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.
The federal government has recorded thousands of taped phone conversations that they have been using in their case against white collar defendants. However, a federal judge criticized white collar investigators for their often-sloppy wiretap management in the case against Craig Drimal, proving that this type of evidence can pose challenges in the courtroom.
Broadly defined, insider trading is trading stocks based on material, non-public information. Insider trading is both a crime and a civil offense and the Securities and Exchange Commission can elect to enforce the insider trading laws by seeking fines as well as prison time. Insider trading, like most white collar crimes, is a felony that carries the possibility of a lengthy prison sentence.
Some 24 people are currently facing white collar charges that carry the potential of decades of prison time, including second degree grand larceny and possession of forged instruments. The charges stem from the activities of an alleged credit card theft ring, in which thousands of credit card numbers and their related details were stolen from individuals across the country.
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.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Wesley Snipes' film career was at its peak. 1998 marked the highpoint for Snipes' commercial success, when he starred in the movie "Blade." In 1998, Snipes also starred in "U.S. Marshalls" as Mark Sheridan, a falsely accused fugitive on the run from the law. It was also around this time he stopped filing his federal income tax returns.
A three-year investigation by federal prosecutors, the FBI and the Securities and Exchange Commission is beginning to make headlines across the nation. The investigation has been focused on possible insider trading by consultants, investment bankers, hedge fund managers, mutual fund managers, and analysts across the nation. The investigation is being characterized as one of the biggest insider-trading probes ever.
This month, the U.S. sentencing guidelines changed in an important way that will affect many older Americans convicted of white-collar crimes. The guidelines changed in a way that gives sentencing judges more latitude in considering a defendant's age when assigning a sentence.