Law enforcement in St. Louis is stepping up its pursuit of fraud and increasingly filing white collar crime charges. With the recent history of how they can damage the world's economy and so many lives, a Ponzi scheme will elicit an intense federal investigation. It is one of the most serious forms of white collar crime and is treated very harshly if there is a conviction.
A 63-year-old woman who owned businesses specializing in shipping, logistics and freight payment was arrested and charged with operating a Ponzi scheme worth $42 million. She now faces a litany of charges including various forms of fraud. The business was supposed to pay audited freight bills for corporations. Rather than make the payments, the woman kept the money. Some of what she purchased included a yacht, a luxury sports car, several homes and for credit card bills accrued by her and her family. She is confronted with the possibility of 20 years in jail on each of the most serious charges.
People who run a business understand that there are times they might be accused of taking shortcuts to succeed. Perhaps they forget to pay taxes, don't file proper paperwork for certain deals or simply do something they should not be doing to keep the business running. Although fraud might not seem as if it's in the category of other crimes, law enforcement is constantly pursuing people who are believed to have committed fraud and will file white collar crime charges for many reasons. No matter the reason for the arrest, whether it's a clear scam or an honest mistake, everyone deserves a strong defense. In many instances, paying restitution will allow the charges to be reduced or dropped completely.
The woman in this case denies wrongdoing. Because a federal investigation into a Ponzi scheme draws so much attention, it's imperative that a person who is accused of these misdeeds have sound legal representation. When facing any kind of fraud allegations, the first thing a person should do is discuss the matter with a legal professional experienced in white collar crime charges.
Source: NJ.com, "Former NJ woman accused of running $42M Ponzi scheme," Jeff Goldman, May 29, 2014