When a white collar criminal case appears it may involve allegations of tens of millions of dollars of theft. With an amount of money that high, it is not uncommon for numerous individuals to be accused of conspiracy with regard to the crime. However, just because one is accused of conspiracy and/or involvement in this kind of fraud in Texas does not mean that those allegations will prevail in a court of law.
Recently, a man who has been accused of running a $100 million donation collecting scam appeared in court to defend himself. The man, who authorities claim is a Harvard-trained attorney, allegedly stole millions of dollars via cash withdrawals from ATMs and by making checks out to himself. He has been accused of defrauding the people who donated money to a charity called the United States Navy Veterans Association.
The 67-year-old man's defense attorney is refuting the allegations. The man's attorney claims the defendant did not do anything outside of the law. He said the defendant was following all the federal tax regulations that govern charity and his work was legal. However, the prosecution disagrees, saying that the man was not only a thief but was not capable of telling the truth.
The story is quite complex as the defendant went missing after his first indictment in 2010. He was later discovered and arrested by authorities. Allegedly the defendant had a suitcase full of nearly $1 million in cash, and a number of fake ID's at the time of his arrest.
Regardless of how dire a Texas case appears or regardless of how strong the prosecution's evidence appears to be, every person facing a white collar criminal or conspiracy accusation is entitled to their day in court. During court proceedings and the actual trial, a strategic and well-planned legal defense is crucial. In the best of cases, it may be shown that no clear evidence exists to support the charges. In other cases, sentencing and punishments may be reduced through plea negotiations and other defense strategies.
Source: NBC News, $100M Navy vet charity fraud trial hears how donations 'disappeared', Thomas J. Sheeran, Oct. 8, 2013