What Does White-Collar Theft Refer To?
White collar crime usually involves someone who works in a position of trust who skims some money or diverts some funds, or did things they weren’t supposed to. I have handled cases involving people who worked at a nursing home and in one case the person was in-charge of all of the payroll and had a friend who was not working, but he would just add 30-40 hours to their paycheck every month, and they’d split the extra money; that’s a good example of white-collar theft.
Another case I handled involved someone who worked for a very rich person, so she had access to a couple of company credit cards and was authorized to make purchases up to about $20-$30,000, but she would make another $20-$30,000 on her own without permission, figuring that no one would ever catch it. This is a really good example of someone who was committing a white-collar crime, because no one ever saw her take anything, although funds were diverted or used without permission and used for the person’s own benefit.
A recent case I handled involved a lady who was handling a high school band’s funds, and she took close to $20,000; she had always been a treasurer but nobody ever checked on her. These kinds of things often happen when no one is checking the person writing the checks.
I actually had a secretary steal from me; I was being naive in thinking she was being nice because I did not even have to write the checks to pay my bills. She would just tell me when to put money in, and she would then sign the checks for me and send them off and I never checked; I didn’t realize until months later that she had opened up second account in my name and was signing the same way I had always been signing. When she finally left, I found out I was about $200,000 in the hole and had no idea why so many overdue notices were coming. She had scammed me and the credit card company finally called me to ask where she was, and they told me that she had been paying for a truck for the last three years out of my account and they felt I might know where she was.
By the time we found the other account, my credit was ruined and it took me 7 years to get it built back up, whereas I thought I had never missed paying a bill. I am not rich, but I am an honest person and she took advantage of it; people should never allow a situation to happen in which the person writing the checks had no accountability, because that is what happens all the time in white-collar crimes.
Could Someone Be Charged For A Forgery, Theft By Deception Or A Hot Check?
These are two different things.
Suppose someone found someone else’s old checkbook and started writing checks on it even though the account was closed, or wrote checks on an account with insufficient funds, that’s prima facie evidence to cause a rebuttable presumption that the person had intent to defraud. The reason it’s rebuttable is because it can possibly be argued that the person had no intent to defraud, and maybe one of their other deposit checks had not cleared.
This is something people should be aware and very careful about because if they were writing checks and they came back NSF, there can be a prima facie case against them that they had intent to defraud, especially if the account was closed. Anyone who participated in this will have aided in the commission of that offense and are as accountable as if they had taken the check to the bank to try and cash it t. Both parties would be guilty of forgery and deceptive practice, like in a situation where one friend told another that he had stolen some checks and then they both decided to go cash them.
What Is Forgery?
Forgery would mean that the person had either written a check or document capable of defrauding another or they were signing somebody else’s name for a credit card that did not belong to them. It’s considered forgery and a deceptive practice if someone signs someone else’s name without their permission, with the intent to deceive someone else to make personal gains.
In a situation in which someone got hold of a check and then decided with a friend to cash it and split the cash, both parties will be guilty of forgery, even if one party was not the one who delivered it. The same would apply if someone took a check they knew was bad and tried to cash it. Anyone participating in that would make them just as guilty; cashing the check makes someone just as guilty as the person who signed it fraudulently.
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