White collar criminal defense in the Maryland and D.C. areas involves non-violent
financially motivated crimes. Even though these crimes are non-violent,
they are not victimless, as a financial scam can destroy a company, wipe
out a family’s life savings, or cost investors billions of dollars.
Here’s a look at some of the most notorious
white collar crimes in U.S. history.
It has been 10 years since criminal defense attorneys witnessed the collapse
of Enron, but the company is still the most complex
white-collar criminal defense case in FBI history. The Houston-based company’s top officials routinely
cheated investors and pocketed the earnings by utilizing complex accounting
gimmicks. This included overvaluing company assets to boost earning
statements and cash flow statements. In December 2001, Enron declared bankruptcy
and its investors lost millions. In its investigation, the FBI conducted
more than 1,800 interviews, collected more than 3,000 boxes of evidence,
and seized more than $164 million. Nearly all of the company’s top
management team was convicted for their role in the fraud.
Hurricane Katrina fraud
Following the devastation in New Orleans, the FBI saw numerous websites
asking for charitable donations to aid victims. Unfortunately, not all
of these charity solicitations were genuine. As a criminal attorney would
warn, people should never respond to unsolicited incoming e-mails asking
for donations. A great way for someone to ensure his or her contributions
actually help victims is by going directly to the charity or aid organization’s
website. There are also a variety of Internet-based resources that can
help someone confirm the existence of a charity organization and look
into its non-profit status.
Operation senior sentinel
In the 1990s, telemarketing fraud greatly affected the elderly, resulting
in nearly $40 billion in losses. On December 7, 1995, the FBI unveiled
Operation Senior Sentinel, which resulted in approximately 1,200 arrests
and hundreds of convictions across the country. This operation involved
victims playing undercover roles to help agents catch the fraudsters.
Even though Operation Senior Sentinel may be 15 years old, criminal defense
lawyers still witness these kinds of fraud schemes as the FBI still routinely
investigates telemarketing fraud cases.