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NOTABLE WHITE COLLAR CRIMES

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.

Enron
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 casein 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.

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