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37 people accused of money laundering, drug trafficking in Ohio

People make bad financial decisions from time to time. Sometimes these mistakes can cause a person to lose money, but they do little harm to others.

However, some of these mistakes constitute white-collar crimes such as money laundering and embezzlement. And as one incident shows, when combined with other crimes, the consequences of a conviction of money laundering or embezzlement can be very serious indeed.

State bill could lower penalties for some drug crimes

A bill under consideration in the Ohio senate could radically change the way drug crimes are prosecuted in the state.

Known as SB 3, the measure is designed to reclassify certain types of drug crimes as low-level offenses. Advocates say that SB 3 will lead to less severe penalties for people convicted of low-level, nonviolent offenses. If the measure becomes law, they say, courts and prisons will be less burdened by relatively low-level criminal charges, leading to increased resources for dealing with high-level drug trafficking and violent crime.

Choosing the right defense against drug possession charges

When facing criminal charges of drug possession, your entire future is on the line. You may not think the charges against you are a big deal, but any assumptions about the nature of your case and its potential impact on your future can be dangerous. It's in your interests to take any type of drug possession charge seriously.

The right way to confront these types of charges depends on your individual situation and the details unique to your case. You will want to find a defense strategy that suits your objectives and allows you the best chance to effectively confront the charges brought against you. There is no one-size-fits-all defense strategy, and the right approach depends on your individual situation.

Insider trading charges carry serious penalties

Securities trading is heavily regulated, and people who work for companies that issue and trade stocks are required to follow all applicable laws. It can be all too easy to fall afoul of laws and regulations such as those prohibiting insider trading.

Recently, federal prosecutors filed charges against a man they say violated insider trading laws in a series of transactions involving the company he worked for and a company it sought to acquire. According the Department of Justice, the man made more than $550,000 by using confidential information.

Feds arrest money laundering expert on money laundering charges

In a case that made for some eye-grabbing headlines, federal prosecutors recently filed money laundering charges against a university professor who has for many years been recognized as one of the world's leading authorities on money laundering.

According to news reports, prosecutors say the University of Miami professor laundered $3 million from foreign individuals who had acquired the money through bribes and embezzlement from a large project in Venezuela. Prosecutors say the professor received the money as large deposits in overseas bank accounts. He would then withdraw 90% of the money as a cashier's check and hand the check to an unnamed individual who, prosecutors say, is a Columbian national. He would keep the other 10% and send it to his personal account.

What is embezzlement?

Lawmakers, law enforcement personnel and others sometimes use the term "white-collar crime" to refer to a large category of financial crimes that occur in a workplace setting. The term itself comes from an old-fashioned notion that laborers wore shirts with blue collars while managers, bankers and other professionals wore shirts with white collars. But in fact, white-collar crimes can happen in many industries and types of workplaces. This is most easily seen in cases involving alleged embezzlement.

Under Ohio law, embezzlement is a type of theft carried out by someone who has lawful possession of property owned by another person. When the possessor takes that property for their own use with no intention of giving it back, they have committed embezzlement. The property involved can be money or something else.

Alarming drug bust headlines can make defense harder

For years, Ohio authorities have been struggling to find ways to respond to an increase in overdoses associated with opioids. The situation is serious, but the efforts to fight the problem can lead to news headlines and stories that seem designed to frighten the public more than educate them.

For example, when a multi-agency team of law enforcement officers announced a recent drug bust in Montgomery, the quote that got all the attention was from a Department of Homeland Security agent who said that they had seized enough fentanyl "to kill the entire population of Ohio, many times over."

Ohio women charged with money laundering for Facebook scam

Three women here are facing charges after allegedly scamming hundreds of people in the U.S. and Canada through Facebook. One of the women was indicted on aggravated theft, money laundering and conspiracy. She is set to go to trial in October.

Two of the women apparently created a Facebook page in August 2016 that offered various deals targeted at families looking for bargains. These deals allegedly included discounted diapers, toys and car seats, as well as vacations to Disney World.

Do authorities suspect you of credit card fraud?

When authorities accuse a person of white collar crime, it is often because they suspect that the person has carried out illegal activity for financial gain. Of course, numerous types of white collar crime exist, and even if the police specifically accuse you of fraud, several types of fraud also exist.

Because fraud does not point to only one specific crime, it is important that you understand the exact allegation that you face. For instance, you may face credit card fraud if authorities believe that you took another person's credit card information without permission. Unfortunately, if convicted of such a crime, you could face serious penalties.

Employee theft can cost companies millions of dollars

Employee theft is so much more than just taking one or two extra pens from your company's supply cabinet. Employee embezzlement, in its various forms, can cost companies millions of dollars and have a significant impact on the success of a business.

There are different forms of internal employee fraud, but they have one thing in common: they are all ways for employees to illegally take money from the company. Payroll fraud is a common form of employee fraud, where employees falsify timesheets, inflate overtime hours, falsify expense reports, or directly steal payroll checks. In some cases, a payroll clerk may also commit fraud by manually adding hours to an employee's timesheet or increasing their rate of pay.

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