People throughout Florida have likely heard about Ponzi schemes on news broadcasts over the last several years. Several high-profile criminal cases involving Ponzi schemes have made national headlines. This type of white-collar crime is deceptively simple and is designed to steal large sums of money from unsuspecting investors.
Florida homeowners and real estate professionals may be aware of the prevalence of mortgage fraud situations. There are various schemes that can be considered illegal in this area. White-collar offenses involving mortgages are typically related to misrepresentation of information on documents.
A Florida man will spend three years and four months in federal prison for stealing the identities of public school students to file false tax returns, federal prosecutors announced on Oct. 27. The 34-year-old pleaded guilty to charges of wire fraud and identity theft after his incarceration in May.
A Florida grand jury indicted a former TD Bank executive on Oct. 10 for allegedly taking part in a $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme run by a convicted associate. He is charged with conspiracy and wire fraud.
A concern for the increasing frequency of non-violent crimes against individuals, especially those designed to defraud elderly and other individuals, led to the enactment of the White Collar Crime Victim Protection Act by the Florida Legislature. These crimes can take place through a variety of means, but technology is becoming a more common tool of those committing these offenses. Significant amounts of money and property are involved in many cases.
A 39-year-old Florida man who was accused of being involved in a payment card scheme pleaded guilty to the associated charges on Sept. 25. The man reportedly admitted that he was involved in selling counterfeit payment cards through a website that he ran.
Florida residents may benefit from reviewing the provisions listed under the White Collar Crime Victim Protection Act, described in Chapter 775 of the 2014 Florida Statutes. The intent of this legislation is to improve the sanctions against nonviolent swindles and fraud, and to assist with prosecuting white-collar offenders while protecting the public's property. The protection act was enacted due to frequency in which people, particularly elders, are victimized through the internet and other technologies. Many victims have lost a significant amount of property due to fraud and deceit.
A scheme known as the "Florida Plan" has reportedly diverted up to $1 billion each year from the state's economy as subcontracting companies use the method to escape expensive workers' compensation premiums. This white collar crime occurs as a shell company is established to facilitate opportunities for subcontractors to secure contracts without actually purchasing workers' compensation coverage. A shell company will secure an inexpensive policy that will then be rented along with the company name to a subcontractor. Although the subcontracting organization is able to provide documents that appear to reflect proper coverage, the majority of company employees are not protected.
A 39-year-old woman who was employed as a bookkeeper for a Florida business was charged with multiple offenses after she was accused of stealing more than $100,000 from the company. According to the report, the charges resulted from an investigation that was instigated by the owner of the company after he began to suspect that the accused woman was stealing.
On Sept. 2, a Florida woman was arraigned in court after she was indicted on multiple fraud charges. Sources indicate that these charges are related to an alleged scheme involving the creation of false IRS documents.