There are many different types of crime which fall under the broad category of white collar crimes. Fraud itself can take many forms: embezzlement; fraudulent billing; false documentation or inspection reports; any many other forms of fraud all constitute white collar crimes with significant prison sentences. Defendants charged with any white collar crime in Michigan have important constitutional rights which must be protected.
The Michigan Compiled Laws prohibit many different types of conduct which constitute various white collar crimes. Even the simple act of knowingly overdrawing a bank account can be a crime: Section 750.131a prohibits the issuance of three checks or drafts within ten days when the defendant knows he or she has insufficient funds or credit to cover the drafts. This is a felony, punishable by up to two years in prison, a fine of $500, or both.
Section 750.218 penalizes false pretenses with the intent to defraud. This covers such actions as: obtaining a signature on a forged instrument; causing a person to convey an interest in land; or using a false weight or measure to buy or sell a greater amount of land than was bargained for. While the least severe of these offenses is designated as a misdemeanor, the most severe is a felony punishable by twenty years in prison, a fine of $35,000, or both.
Section 752.1084 makes organized retail crime a felony punishable by up to five years in prison, a fine of $5000, or both. (The same crime can also be committed by organizing, supervising, financing, managing, assisting, or conspiring to commit an organized retail crime. It can also be committed by tampering with anti-theft or inventory control devices in order to allow another person to commit organized retail theft.)
Recent White Collar Cases in Michigan
- Stanley Hayes, CEO of a credit union in Saginaw, has been charged with embezzlement. According to Michigan Live, Hayes has waived his right to a preliminary hearing, and is instead going directly to trial on the accusations that he embezzled $710,000 from the credit union.
- The New York Times reports on an unusual federal criminal case filed in the Eastern District Court of Michigan. Three executives at Takata - a Japanese auto parts manufacturer - were charged with wire fraud related to providing false safety data in order to conceal a fatal defect in the company’s airbags. In an unusual turn of events, prosecutors also announced that the executives had already agreed to plead guilty to the charges.
There are many different types of fraud, and the punishments for these offenses can be drastic. An experienced Michigan white collar crime defense lawyer will both protect a defendant’s legal rights and mitigate the damage a criminal conviction can bring to a defendant’s life.