Articles Posted in White Collar Crime

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White collar crime attorneyRarely does the state of Utah find itself leading the nation. In fact, the state was the last in the country to stop executing death row inmates by firing squad (the last occurred in 2010), and is considering bringing that form of capital punishment back.1

Yes, the state of Utah has tired of not leading the nation in something, and it has decided to change that. Recently, the state became the first in the United States to enact a public criminal registry for white collar criminals, which have generally been treated, at least in the public’s view, with kid gloves.2 Utah has decided that white-collar criminals deserve the same kind of public infamy normally reserved for people convicted of sex crimes, such as rape, child molestation, and child pornography.

Very soon, those convicted of white collar crimes in Utah will find their faces, names and addresses in full view of the public, searchable on a website the state is creating.

What are White Collar Crimes?

“White collar” refers to nonviolent, financially motivated crimes against property that are often committed by business professionals and governmental officials. The term, coined in the 1930s, referred to the type of clothing the persons who commit these crimes generally wear (suits), and the social status that non-criminals in their professions enjoy. Instead of using a gun to steal, white-collar criminals often use advanced degrees such as MBAs and JDs.

White collar crimes include:

  • Fraud
  • Embezzlement
  • Copyright/Trademark Piracy
  • Identity Theft
  • Forgery
  • Insider Trading

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An Oceanside police sergeant recently pleaded guilty to charges of “receiving stolen property and knowingly accepting items purchased with embezzled funds,” according to a recent report by San Diego News 10. The man had been with the Oceanside Police Department for 10 years and was quoted as being a “rising star” in the department when he was charged. Allegedly, the man was romantically involved with a woman who had been embezzling money from a construction company at which she was employed. Prosecutors claim that the man knowingly received over $54,000 in items from the woman that he used to update his home, including mahogany wood flooring and flat-screen television sets. The officer now faces a prison sentence of 365 days in county jail.

Under California Penal Code section 496, it is a crime to knowingly buy, sell, receive, conceal, or withhold stolen property. If, for example, you buy or receive a car stereo from a person with knowledge that the person who is providing it to you has received it unlawfully, you can be prosecuted for receiving stolen property under Penal Code section 496. Depending on the severity of the case, a conviction can result in a prison sentence of up to one year in state or county jail.

If you are being charged with receiving stolen property in San Diego, it is imperative that you contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer in San Diego immediately. You will need on your side the best legal representation to fight such serious allegations. Our criminal defense lawyers at Wallin & Klarich can provide you with the skilled legal representation that comes with over 30 years of experience. Call us today at 888-280-6839 or visit us online at www.wklaw.com. We will be there when you call.

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Some members of the local legal community were surprised on Tuesday, December 15, 2009, when a U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney acquitted former Broadcom chief financial officer William J. Ruehle, and dismissed charges of fraud and backdating stock options against former Broadcom CEO Henry T. Nicholas. However, the judge did more than just dismiss the case with prejudice on the ground of prosecutorial misconduct, which is likely to preclude the case from ever being prosecuted again.

The judge also launched an attack on the federal prosecutors handling the case scorning them for intimidating and threatening key witnesses and lacking evidence to prove the allegations of backdating stock options in order to lower the Irvine semiconductor manufacturing giant compensation expenses on its financial statements to shareholders.

Broadcom is an Irvine chipmaker that during 10 years of public trading had grown into the largest technological company in Orange County employing 7,200 people worldwide and posting $4.6 billion in revenue in 2008. The trouble for the company started in 2007, when it announced a $2.2 billion in undisclosed compensation expenses as part of backdated stock option grants.

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It was recently reported that two San Bernardino officials have been charged with over a dozen felony counts, including bribery and misappropriation of public funds. Former Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Postmus and former Assistant County Assessor Jim Erwin are accused of accepting $100,000 apiece from land development company Colonies Partners to settle a lawsuit the company filed against the city for $102 million. The lawsuit was filed because the city allegedly failed to make payments for flood control improvements for a development project near Upland.

Postmus is charged with five felony counts, including conspiracy to commit a crime, conflict of interest, misappropriation of public funds, and two counts of accepting a bribe. Erwin is charged with nine felony counts including bribery, misappropriation of public funds, forgery, and two counts each of corrupt influencing and extortion to obtain an official act. Both are awaiting trial on other corruption charges.

According to the charges concerning the lawsuit settlement, prosecutors allege Colonies Partners bribed Erwin with $100,000 to induce other San Bernardino city officials to approve the settlement. Erwin also allegedly made other threats to Postmus in an attempt to blackmail him into voting for the settlement. Postmus allegedly accepted the $100,000 bribe so he could funnel the money into political action committees. The settlement was narrowly approved by county supervisors on a 3-2 vote. The vote was controversial enough that several county attorneys resigned following the vote. The law firm representing the county refused to sign the agreement.

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According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, a mistrial was declared in the California fraud trial of Matthias Vheru, 53, who was accused by prosecutors of conning the district into placing a $3.7 million order to buy math textbooks that he had written. The math teacher who was the interim director of mathematics in 2004, allegedly persuaded the district to purchase about 45,000 copies of an algebra book he wrote. As a result of the district’s purchase, Verhu received approximately $930,000.

Following more than a week of deliberations, the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict, which is required to find Mr. Vheru guilty of the fraud charges. The panel was reportedly hung at 11 to 1 in favor of acquitting Vheru. The U.S. Attorney’s office has until March 23rd to decide if they want to retry Vheru.

Vheru’s fraud defense attorneys argued that their client obtained the proper approval from both the mathematics department and the accounting office before placing the order, and that disclosing royalties on the sale of books was not part of L.A. Unified’s policy.

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New California Appeals Court Ruling Underscores The Need For An Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney in Forgery Cases

A recent California Court of Appeals decision held that multiple forged signatures on a single document constitute only one count of forgery in California. In the matter of People v. Kenefick 2009 DJDAR 731, the Defendant was sentenced at trial to over 16 years in prison after she allegedly stole $890,000 from six victims, while purporting to run an investment company. Defendant was convicted by jury of 18 counts of theft, burglary, selling securities by false statement, and forgery.

On appeal, Defendant argued that two of the forgery counts should be vacated, and the sentence on those counts stayed. Defendant, through her California appeals attorney, argued that she could not be punished separately for forgery because the forgeries were part and parcel of the theft. The California Court of Appeals agreed. California Penal Code Section 654 prohibits multiple punishment for a single act or omission which may be punishable in different ways by different provisions of the Penal Code. The Court agreed with the Defendant that she harbored a single criminal objective in committing the forgery and theft. The Court held that the forgeries were merely initial steps in the plan to commit theft; as such it was improper for the trial court to allow separate convictions for those acts of forgery.

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I am accused of forgery and/or counterfeiting and need a defense attorney

blank checkForgery has several definitions under the law. At its most basic, forgery is knowingly and intentionally creating false documents that are held out as genuine. That includes:

  • Signing someone else’s name, or the name of a person who doesn’t exist
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Do I Really Need A Bribery Defense Lawyer?

EMBEZZLEMENT_1Bribery is giving or offering to give something of value to another person in order to influence their decisions. It is explicitly forbidden to offer or make a bribe to the following persons:

  • Judges and other judicial officers
  • Jurors
  • Referees and umpires
  • Arbitrators
  • Elected officials
  • State, city or county government workers and members of public corporations; &
  • Anyone else authorized by law to decide any question or controversy

Those serving in the roles above will also be guilty of bribery should they accept an actual bribe or offer one. In either case, bribery is a felony carrying two to four years in state prison. Those convicted of accepting a bribe will also be fined $2,000 or the amount of the bribe, up to $10,000 or twice the amount of the bribe — whichever is larger.

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Do I Need a Bad Check Attorney if I am Charged with Fraudulently Issuing Bad Checks?

With the economic downturn our law firm is seeing a rise in the number of persons who are calling our office for help and who find themselves accused of writing a “bad check”. The problem of bad checks has always been a concern for law enforcement, and with the anticipated downturn in the economy the occurrence of bad check writing will go up. Aside from the economical implications this scenario has, the impact on unsuspecting offenders is that prosecutors will likely begin to pursue offenders more vigorously.

The typical bad check prosecution is where a person will pay rent, a car payment, or any other regular bill with knowledge that there is insufficient funds in their account, but with the hope that they will eventually get the money before the check clears, or that a recently deposited check will clear. Then, the check bounces, a report is made, and charges instituted.

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Comedian Dane Cook’s Brother Arrested

Comedian Dane Cook’s half brother embezzled millions of dollars from him and was arraigned on felony charges that include larceny and forgery. Cook’s Brother is facing years in prison. He will need an experienced embezzlement defense attorney to help him in this matter and to get him the best possible outcome. If you or a loved one is facing these types of charges or if you believe you are being investigated contact our office, one of our experienced defense attorney’s at Wallin & Klarich will help you and will protect your rights.

These charges and any type of theft charges are considered crimes of “moral turpitude”, meaning it is a crime of deception. Because they are charges of “moral turpitude” they can hinder you from maintaining employment or from future employment. And if you are in the process of or thinking of becoming a U.S. Citizen this can keep you from doing so.

About Wallin & Klarich


Wallin & Klarich was established in 1981. Over the past 32 years, our law firm has helped tens of thousands of families in their time of legal need. Regardless of whether our clients faced criminal or DUI charges, the loss of their driving privilege, or wanted to clean up their criminal record, we have been there to help them.