Do you know the difference between tax avoidance, tax fraud and tax evasion? The terms are often used almost interchangeably on the news when someone is in trouble with the law -- but the terms don't actually mean the same thing at all.
While big trials make headlines, there are plenty of white collar criminal cases that get adjudicated through a plea deal. In fact, it's probably hard to look at the news, these days, without reading something about another white collar defendant who just pled guilty.
The Office of the Inspector General is serious about prosecuting instances of Medicare and Medicaid fraud. Not only is a national concern that affects millions of Americans, it's also a political "hot button" issue. Nobody wants to look soft on the issue -- so prosecutors can be very aggressive.
Working in the tech industry these days is incredibly exciting -- but it's also fraught with dangers due to outmoded legislation and overeager prosecutors who can, quite literally, create a crime out of virtually nothing.
A lot of people are finding success in the newfound "gig" economy in the nation. Some use side jobs to supplement their regular income, while others find whole new careers.
While the troubled economy can certainly be to blame for the multitude of foreclosures and short sales in Florida, at least some of these real estate transactions have involved mortgage fraud.
A Ponzi scheme netted a Florida couple some $28 million in profits from 87 victims. The white collar criminal case against the wife has led to a 35 year sentence in federal prison. This despite that fact that her husband, as well as several others recently convicted in similar, larger cases received significantly less prison time. A third person is facing charges in connection with the operation, but he remains outside the country and has yet to be extradicted.
The Fort Lauderdale brothers who were charged under a large investment fraud investigation in 2008 are now facing additional charges. The latest white collar crime allegations involve using dummy corporations to defraud insurance companies of millions of dollars. The latest fraud is alleged to have continued even after the investment fraud indictment was handed down. Both brothers are currently being held at the Federal Detention Center in Miami.
In 16 years of work in the Florida Legislature, Mandy Dawson participated in countless votes which affected the law. She finds herself entangled in legal issues of a different type now, as she is expected to plead guilty to tax evasion charges over money received during her time in office. She now faces a criminal sentence of up to 13 years in prison. She is accused of failing to pay income taxes owed in 2004 and 2005 and for failing to file a return in 2006, 2007 and 2008. Term limits put an end to her time in the Florida Senate in 2008.
Another hedge fund manager with ties to the Galleon Group has been charged for illegally profiting from inside information. The white collar criminal charges carry a potential prison sentence of 25 years. Allegedly, the man was given earnings information and other confidential business knowledge concerning Google and Polycom. He is accused of using that information in stock trades from 2006 to 2009. He is also accused of passing along insider information concerning Marvell Technology Group Ltd. The person who provided him with the insider knowledge has connections to Raj Rajaratnam who was convicted last May in a case that drew national headlines.