A married couple in Florida turned themselves in to authorities on Dec. 8 after receiving various fraud charges involving a foreclosed property. According to the Clay County Sheriff's Office, the young couple filed a forged quit deed while they were squatting in a $1.1 million home in Keystone Heights. The couple received criminal counts for grand theft, unlawful filing and uttering a forged instrument.
Miami investors may be interested to learn that on Dec. 10, a man who reportedly worked as a computer programmer in Bernard Madoff's multibillion dollar Ponzi scheme was sentenced to less than three years in prison. Additionally, the man was also required to symbolically forfeit approximately $19.7 billion jointly with the other defendants who played a part in the fraud scheme.
In Florida and in the rest of the United States, pyramid schemes and Ponzi schemes are illegal. However, people still try to get away with both pyramid schemes and Ponzi schemes by hiding their activities behind non-existent products or behind investment practices that appear legitimate.
While almost all people in Florida have probably heard of copyrighted work, people may not be certain exactly what types of works are protected under copyright laws and what types of works are not. Generally, in order to be protected under applicable copyright laws, works must be either written or recorded.
As Florida residents may know, the theft of assets placed in an individual's care that belong to another business or person is typically considered embezzlement. This type of financial fraud involves misappropriating funds that the perpetrator has a fiduciary duty to protect. In Florida, embezzlement may be charged as theft, and the property may initially be entrusted voluntarily.
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.