Allegations of so-called white collar crime are different from other kinds of criminal accusations. White collar crime charges in Texas require a different kind of defense. For one thing, it is rare that prosecutors can find a ‘smoking gun’ that will connect an individual, irrefutably to the alleged wrongdoing. Secondly, prosecutors will sometimes violate the rights of the accused while gathering evidence and they can be held accountable for this kind of violation. When an individual is wrongly convicted of a white collar crime, or wrongly sentenced, he or she can appeal that conviction through more litigation.
In a recent and ongoing white collar crime case, a man accused and convicted of running a Ponzi scheme will appear before the court to try and get a reduction in his 50-year prison sentence. He is claiming that his attorneys did not tell him he could have made a plea bargain to cap his sentence at 30 years. The man’s defense attorney is now attempting to show that if he had been given the plea offer, he would have accepted it and he would not have received such a lengthy sentence.
The man was convicted in 2009, along with 13 others, for allegedly being involved in a Ponzi scheme. This hearing may be the last time he can try to reduce his sentence. Should he fail, the 50-year sentence may stand.
This case shows that even if an individual is convicted of white collar crime, strategies can be employed to challenge that ruling. In the best of cases an individual can be freed from jail by overturning the previous ruling of a court. In other Texas cases, it may be possible to obtain a reduction of jail time.
Source: inforum.com, “Convicted Ponzi schemer Petters gets hearing,” Aug. 12, 2013