A form of white collar crime that most New Jersey residents have heard about and some have unfortunately become first-hand familiar with is the fraudulent investment scheme. This trap usually comes in the form of a purported investment opportunity that promises a return on investment that is the epitome of the saying, "Too good to be true." There are many types of fraudulent investment schemes, from supposed foreign royalty looking for someone to help them to deposit large sums of money to insider trading on the stock market.
It does not take long to find examples of people being accused of trying to defraud the system of government-provided health care. Take, for example, the recent story of a doctor in Englewood, New Jersey who is being charged with health care fraud in connection with charges for office visits that never took place, or prescription refills billed as office visits. His case, which will be heard in a federal court in Newark, is not unusual.
The federal penalties for failing to pay taxes are severe. Tax evasion is a felony under the U.S.Code, and conviction can lead to a sentence of up to five years and a fine of up to $100,000 for an individual (five times that amount for a business).To add insult to injury, the government can also tack on the costs connected with trying the case in court.
Some crimes by their very names can conjure images of the type of person who commits them. Crimes such as assault, strong-arm robbery, or burglary may bring to mind a rough sort of individual. Another type of crime, though, may produce a different kind of mental image: "white-collar crime."
Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GE) recently agreed to a $5.6 billion dollar settlement for its role in bundling subprime mortgages for sale to investors without disclosing that the mortgages had an unusually high percentage of credit and compliance issues. In doing so, it joins a number of other high profile banks who have admitted wrongdoing with regard to their roles in the mortgage frenzy that led up to the financial crisis in 2008.
With the economic recession that began in 2008 came an attitude in New Jersey and throughout the country that was very hostile towards executives in large companies and people working within the financial industry. They were seen as reckless gamblers or greedy thieves that blatantly stole money from ordinary, honest people. The prevailing mood was that these financiers should be prosecuted and punished.