You cannot be punished for a crime until you are convicted, and you are innocent until proven guilty. The law is clear. Or is it?
There is a persistent myth that white collar criminals do not go to prison for their crimes. This myth has frequently been applied to bankers who misused federal funds during the financial crisis or committed other fraud crimes.
As a Texas business owner, you are in a precarious position. You must work hard and innovate in order to rise above the competition, and you must do it while paying close attention to your legal obligations regarding taxes, employment matters and more. Under this pressure, it is not surprising that many business owners run afoul of the law.
For people who work in corporate environments and for those who are regularly involved in high dollar transactions, falling into the crosshairs of a federal criminal investigation is surprisingly common.
In Plano, Texas, a North Carolina man has been indicted on fraud charges. A federal grand jury in the Eastern District of Texas voted to charge him with wire fraud and three counts of aggravated identity theft. He was arrested when he arrived in McKinney, Texas, to pick up a check from one of the victims. The 27-year-old man will remain in federal custody while he awaits the pending trial.
A Texas man who was accused of setting up accounts with TXU Energy using stolen Social Security numbers was sentenced to federal prison after he was convicted for a utility fraud scheme on July 2. Additionally, he was also required to pay restitution in the amount of $110,344 to the energy company.
Although Parkview Home School of Houston apparently employed no teachers, it allegedly sold high school diplomas and transcripts to over 40,000 customers since 1994, according to a lawsuit filed by the Texas Attorney General's Office. Documents filed in Harris County district court alleged that the company illegally marketed its diplomas to Texas consumers in violation of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
Texas readers may be concerned about being accused of identity theft or identity fraud. It is a good idea to understand what constitutes identity fraud and identity theft. Both terms are used to describe crimes in which an individual obtains someone else's personal information and then uses it for economic or personal gain.
Many Texans have probably heard of Ponzi schemes even if they aren't certain what this particular crime entails. Several high-profile criminal cases have unfolded in recent years that involved Ponzi schemes. This type of fraud has deprived investors of millions of dollars and those responsible are routinely given stiff sentences.
Chapter 31 of Title 7 of the Texas Penal Code can be a difficult read. It's filled with legal terms regarding different forms of theft and how the thefts are committed. That section of the penal code deals with an often complex crime: embezzlement.