White collar crime is a loose category comprising a variety of financial crimes, mostly taking place in the workplace. White collar crimes include embezzlement and many types of fraud, including sophisticated securities fraud. One type of fraud that has been in the news recently is money laundering. This crime is widely misunderstood.
The internet has become one of the most useful and familiar features of daily life for many Clevelanders, but it has also become the tool of choice for many persons who use it to commit fraud. In fact, internet fraud has become perhaps the newest form of white collar crime. A string of complaints to the Cleveland police department's financial crimes unit illustrates, yet another use of the internet to steal money.
A woman formerly employed by MetroHealth and a female friend have been indicted for allegedly embezzling almost $300,000 from various grants awarded by Case Western Reserve University in Ohio. The grand jury handed in a 71-count indictment charging the two women with aggravated theft, money laundering and numerous counts of telecommunications fraud.
"I love WikiLeaks," Donald Trump famously said at a campaign rally last year after one of the group's email dumps. "It's amazing how nothing is secret today when you talk about the Internet."
There is a misconception out there that if you are innocent, you don’t need a lawyer. And if you do hire an attorney, that means you are probably guilty. These two statements can’t be further from the truth. It’s almost like saying “If you go to a doctor when you are experiencing an ache, you probably have a serious illness.” This statement seems silly, doesn’t it? But if we think about it, it’s very similar to the statement about hiring an attorney. We reach out to a doctor for his or her medical expertise when we feel an ache because we do not want to self-diagnose our condition. In many cases, it turns out to be a non-issue but we often think “better safe than sorry.”
Embezzlement falls under the category of white collar crime. White collar crimes are non-violent in nature, committed for financial gain, and they generally involve deceit. In addition to tax evasion, money laundering, securities fraud and general fraud, embezzlement is one of the most common white collar offenses that Ohio residents might face.
Embezzlement sometimes seems like such an unthreatening offense. There is no holdup, break-in or armed robbery. There typically isn't even a weapon, beyond a computer and a spreadsheet. Unlike many theft crimes, this one often involves a woman who is an administrative assistant or an accountant. In many cases, the "crime" occurs weekly or monthly, sometimes stretching for years.
People often worry about the concentration of power in a government agency. One of the most powerful government agencies in the U.S. is the FBI. The law enforcement agency has thousands of agents and a vast budget. It controls numerous large databases, which contain millions of records of those charged with crimes and those only under investigation.