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Grand Rapids Criminal Defense Law Blog

White collar crimes: Indictment returned in refund fraud scheme

Facing criminal charges in Michigan or elsewhere is serious, and seeking legal counsel from the onset is crucial. Such a case that involved alleged white collar crimes recently led to a superseding indictment by a federal grand jury in another state. A 26-year-old woman and a co-defendant face 14 counts, including aggravated identity theft, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Court documents indicate that the woman, along with three co-defendants, planned on defrauding financial institutions by running a fraudulent refund scheme. It is alleged that they pretended to be merchants who had to refund clients. Legitimate refund programs exist for merchants who have to refund erroneous charges, returns and reimbursements. The group allegedly based the fraud scheme on that process.

Mayor and wife indicted on federal white collar crimes charges

When professionals and others in public positions in Michigan or elsewhere face federal charges, the effect on their personal and professional lives could be severe. One such case occurred in another state where a mayor and his wife face white collar crimes charges. The couple was recently indicted in federal court.

The charges against them reportedly arose from the couple's solicitations to obtain donations for a mental health project run in the name of an LLC they formed in 2018. It is alleged that the money they raised were not used for the purpose of funding the program. They apparently used the services of local media to promote the project, promising to use donations to create safe facilities to conduct mental health counseling.

Charter school director admits to committing white collar crimes

Michigan residents may be aware of a case in another state where more than $1.3 million was embezzled from a for-profit charter school. Federal prosecutors allege that a former executive director of the school used money meant for the school's accounts for personal enrichment. The woman reached a plea agreement with prosecution on the day the federal charges for white collar crimes were filed against her, indicating to the court that she would enter a guilty plea. 

Reportedly, a routine audit in 2018 first discovered irregularities in the accounts of the charter school. Auditors reported that the charter school director used school funds to cover personal expenses. Some of the unauthorized payments were made directly from business accounts to Louis Vuitton, Disney, the Girl Scouts, Uber, Ticketmaster, a children's dentist and more.

Charges for felonies dismissed, accused woman sues for damages

Michigan residents will likely have empathy with a woman in another state who faced charges related to embezzlement and conspiracy, which were later dismissed. However, the harm that the arrest caused to her personal life and career could not be reversed. As soon as she was arrested for the felonies, her employers terminated her employment.

The woman worked as a bus driver, and her husband was the director of service at the same company. The couple was arrested in February after an investigation that was launched last October. They were accused of stealing property from their employers. Reportedly, deputies executed two warrants to search the home of the defendants, and they claimed to have found items to the value of approximately $15,000 belonging to their employers.

Understand and protect yourself against prescription fraud

Prescription fraud is a big problem in the medical field, because it could mean that restricted prescriptions are making it out into the general population in large amounts. As a medical provider, it is your responsibility to understand if and when a patient should take a certain medication. Overprescribing to patients, taking bribes or receiving kickbacks can all lead to trouble. 

If you are a pharmacist, you should know you are obligated to learn the state and federal requirements for dispensing controlled substances and must uphold those laws. Pharmacists are some of the only people who can stop drug abuse, since they are familiar with patients, their prescription histories and the appearance of drug abuse or doctor shopping.

White collar crimes: Indictments in $1.4B hospital testing fraud

Allegations of the fraudulent billing of $1.4 billion for medical tests recently resulted in the indictment of 10 people. Michigan residents who follow white collar crimes cases might be interested to learn more about this case. According to the charges, 10 people were accused of conspiring in a scheme to bill private health insurers for fraudulent laboratory tests.

The alleged fraud took place between 2015 and 2018. It all purportedly started with the accused individuals, ages ranging from 44 to 60, identifying financially struggling small hospitals in rural areas of various states. The defendants allegedly bought the facilities through multiple management companies and then used them to bill insurers for fraudulent urinalysis drug tests and blood tests.

Michigan man's 3rd arrest on illegal gambling-related felonies

The Michigan Gaming Control Board and the state's Department of Attorney General conducted a joint investigation into the activities of a man who was allegedly involved in illegal gambling activities. Reportedly, the 57-year-old was arrested on similar charges on two prior occasions. Following the current investigation, the man was arrested and charged with several felonies.

The allegations against the man involve the supply of illegal gambling machines to a business in Flint. It is claimed that this business is an illegal gambling facility under the guise of an internet gaming operation. Authorities say the man faced a 10-year felony charge in 2013, which was dropped when he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges. This followed his assurance that he would only deal with gaming machines with MGCB certification.

White collar crimes charges filed against woman faking illnesses

Many trial watchers nationwide, including Michigan may be following the case of a woman in another state who allegedly falsely claimed to suffer from several severe medical conditions. She pleaded not guilty to white collar crimes charges at a recent federal court appearance. The 35-year-old is charged with aggravated identity theft, mail fraud and wire fraud.

According to court documents, the 35-year-old woman was indicted in March for falsely claiming to suffer from spinal muscular atrophy and muscular dystrophy. It is alleged that she used the identity and Social Security documents of another individual to obtain access to a facility for people with these medical conditions. She stayed in the facility from Oct. 2015 through March 2016.

Federal court indicts churchgoer for alleged white collar crimes

People in Michigan and elsewhere who find themselves in financial trouble are often unable to resist the temptation to participate in Ponzi schemes or other methods to con others into investing in nonexistent profitable projects. According to a recent indictment in a federal court, a 50-year-old man in another state is accused of white collar crimes involving scamming others into investing money in Christian support groups. It is alleged that he took advantage of fellow churchgoers and co-workers.

Court documents indicate that the alleged fraud started in 2013 when the accused man founded a company that promised to pay investors significant monthly and annual rates of interest. Instead of investing the funds in the support groups, it is alleged that the funds were instead invested in foreign exchange. Investigators allege the Ponzi scheme continued through 2018. The man allegedly used some of the investors' money to pay himself a salary, while sending the investors fake documented proof of the interest they gained.

What does Michigan law say about drug manufacturing?

The manufacturing of controlled substances is illegal, and, therefore, anyone who is found to be cultivating or manufacturing illegal drugs in Michigan could be subjected to severe consequences. If you are found guilty of manufacturing a drug or even having the intent to manufacture a drug in the state, the severity of your punishment depends on the type and amount of the manufactured drug. 

When facing any criminal charges, it is important you take the time to understand the law.  The following is a brief overview of the drug cultivation and manufacturing laws in Michigan.

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