Taking out a mortgage is probably the biggest financial transaction most people ever make in their lifetimes -- and it's a scary, confusing process. Unfortunately, unwary consumers can be led astray by unscrupulous mortgage brokers and lenders. Before you take out a mortgage, it's important to realize that you can get into serious trouble if you're involved in any kind of mortgage fraud -- even accidentally.
The Sixth Amendment to the Constitution says that you have a guaranteed right to a speedy trial -- yet, it can take months or years before you actually get a case to court (especially if the case is complicated).
You know the drill: The police detective corners the suspect, the cuffs come out and the detective starts to recite, "You have the right to remain silent..." while he or she is snapping those cuffs into place. You've probably seen it play out a hundred times or more on television police dramas.
If you're facing extensive criminal charges for a white collar crime like embezzlement, securities violations, fraud or something similar, it's only natural to feel a host of strong emotions. You may be depressed at the potential penalties and the turn your life has taken. You may be angry at whatever situation started the whole mess. You may be frustrated at the way you are being perceived in the press.
When the college admissions scandal recently broke, involving some of the most prominent figures in entertainment and business in the country today, people experienced a range of emotions: shock, dismay, disgust and surprise. Many people didn't realize that paying someone to take your child's college entrance exams or bribing your way onto a college sports team to gain admission was a federal crime.
Do you ever wonder why only a few people end up committing white collar crimes like embezzlement or money laundering?
Embezzlement is, essentially, a type of theft that's accomplished through deception and an abuse of privilege or power rather than the kind of theft that happens with a mask and a gun. Embezzlement occurs when someone who has lawful access to money diverts it away from its proper owner or purpose for personal use.
It's all too easy to become involved in a federal criminal investigation these days. You just have to work in an office, handle certain pieces of paperwork or be present when some questionable events occur to end up facing investigators.
There's been a lot of media attention on the high-profile arrests of executives for a variety of white collar crimes, including securities violations, tax evasion and violating laws regarding United States sanctions.
Restitution is designed to compensate the victims of a crime for their financial losses as much as possible. It's commonly ordered when someone is convicted of a financial crime, like embezzlement or fraud.