The investigation and pretrial steps in a criminal case may take much longer than a lot of people would like, especially in very complex cases that involve multiple parties.
During this time, any information shared with the general public may negatively impact the outcome of a case or interfere with a defendant’s right to receive a fair trial. One prominent white collar crime case in Mississippi provides a current example of this.
Six defendants accused of welfare scam
According to Mississippi Today, a grand jury indicted six individuals in an alleged welfare embezzlement scandal back in February of this year. The case asserts that federal monies intended for use in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, the state’s welfare program, instead made their way to other organizations, including a pharmaceutical startup business.
The former Governor, a former officer in the state’s Department of Human Services and two former professional athletes have all been linked to the case in some fashion.
Defendant makes bold statement to the media
In a recent conversation between one of the defendants and the media, the defendant denied any wrongdoing on her part. However, she did indicate that she transferred money at the direction of another party. The defendant did not indicate who instructed her to make payments.
Judge prevents further statements to media
The Clarion Ledger reported that shortly after the defendant’s discussion with the press, a judge ruled that no parties shall make any further public statements in the matter. The judge indicated his ruling aimed to provide a fair trial for all involved in the case.