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All Press Releases for December 24, 2013 »
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Lengthy white collar crime sentences show seriousness of accusations

If you have been accused of committing a white collar crime, you could be facing a potentially harsh sentence.
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    December 24, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- In times past, white collar crime was not thought of as a widespread menace to society. But, as the years have gone by, violent crime rates have decreased, while the growing economic gap between the rich and poor in America has combined with outrage over a number of high profile white collar crime cases to create a new wave of Draconian white collar sentencing.

Dec. 11, 2013 is the five year anniversary of Bernie Madoff's arrest in the largest and most high profile Ponzi scheme ever recorded. Madoff, now 75, still has a good ways to go on his 150-year prison sentence. While Bernie Madoff may be the poster boy for triple digit white collar crime prison sentences, a number of other former business giants are also showcasing the new get-tough attitude toward white collar crime by serving prison terms that will extend beyond their natural lives.

Insurance fraud, wire fraud and bank fraud among offenses for record-setting sentences

The list of record white collar prison sentences varies somewhat from time to time as new rulings are issued on appeal for certain cases. Nonetheless, according to a list recently compiled by The Wall Street Journal, the undisputed champion for longest white collar prison sentence is 59-year-old Sholam Weiss.

Weiss was convicted in 2000 of a $125 million insurance fraud scheme involving a life insurance company and its elderly policyholders. Currently serving time in a federal prison in Pennsylvania, Weiss has a scheduled release date in 2754. Keith Pound, an Illinois mortgage broker and a codefendant of Weiss, received the second longest sentence for a white collar offense ever, at 740 years. Pound died in prison at the age of 54, just four years into his 740 year sentence.

Madoff and his 150 year sentence actually only come it at number five on the list. Norman Schmidt, convicted of fraud in 2008 for a "high-yield investment scheme," received a 330-year sentence (and died in prison earlier this year), while Robert Thompson was sentenced to 309 years in 2010 on various counts, including wire fraud and bank fraud.

A strong legal defense is critical if you are being investigated for a white collar crime

Functionally, since most white collar defendants are older, having reached a higher position in an organization, there is little difference between a 20 year sentence and a 200 year sentence. These huge triple digit sentences for white collar offenders serve more to send a message than to really increase any kind of punitive effect. But the message is very clear, and that message is that anyone convicted of a white collar crime will no longer simply receive a slap on the wrist.

If you are facing charges for a white collar crime, you need to stage a strong legal defense; you don't want to spend your golden years behind bars. Talk to a white collar crime attorney today to begin building a strategy for your defense.

Article provided by Brown, PC
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