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White Collar Crimes Archives

Legal secretary charged with stealing $175,950 from employer

Many lawyers rely on their secretaries to handle accounting duties, including depositing receipts and paying bills. Secretaries in this position have frequent opportunities for self-enrichment, but most resist the temptation and follow the highest ethical standards. The recent arrest of a secretary who works for a Scranton attorney shows what happens when the ethical restraints are ignored.

What is "white collar crime"?

"White collar crime" is a term most of us have heard before, but you may have wondered to yourself exactly what it refers to and what it means. One thing that is important to understand about white collar crime is that it includes a group of crimes that are taken seriously and can lead to significant potential penalties and consequences.

Former government employee facing embezzlement charges

Criminal charges can change an accused individual's life forever. In a Pennsylvania community, just a couple of hours south of the Carbondale area, a woman is facing charges she embezzled public funds. The 36-year-old woman is accused of embezzling over $200,000 from local taxpayers. She is facing six counts, including theft by unlawful taking, theft by deception, receiving stolen property and theft by failure to make required disposition of funds received.

What is embezzlement?

Embezzlement charges can be serious charges for an accused individual to face which is why anyone charged with embezzlement may rightly wonder what the charge entails. By definition, embezzlement refers to the fraudulent taking of personal property by a party it was entrusted to. Embezzlement can occur whether the personal property in question is transferred to a third party or not and is most commonly understood as the misappropriation of money.

Pennsylvania woman facing fraud charges and accusations

The criminal justice system provides important rights and protections for accused individuals to be familiar with. In a Pennsylvania community southwest of the Carbondale area a transportation supervisor was recently accused of stealing greater than $179,000 from a school district. According to authorities, the 38-year old woman is accused of submitting fraudulent invoices from a transportation company to the school district for payment and then keeping the checks without the transportation company's knowledge that the invoice was sent or the check was issued.

Legal defenses to extortion in Pennsylvania

A previous blog post discussed the possible penalties for extortion in Pennsylvania. A conviction for extortion may result in a fine of up to $15,000 and up to seven years' imprisonment, depending on the value of the property that was extorted. There are some legal defenses to the crime of extortion in Pennsylvania which may be asserted depending on the circumstances of the case.

Possible penalties for extortion convictions in Pennsylvania

Extortion can be committed in person, over the phone, by mail and via text or email. If interstate commerce was used, federal investigations may lead to it being charged as a federal crime. Extortion is considered a theft-related offense in Pennsylvania. Therefore, to be found guilty, the elements of the underlying crime of theft must be met, in addition to the element of coercion or intimidation.

Several Pennsylvanians facing insurance fraud allegations

The Attorney General of Pennsylvania announced that 21 people from the western part of Pennsylvania are facing allegations of insurance fraud. This is just the latest step in a crackdown that the Attorney General's Insurance Fraud Section claims has led to 163 criminal charges and over $750,000 in restitution payments.

Penalties for identity theft in Pennsylvania

Identity theft is when someone uses another person's identifying information to further an unlawful purpose. This crime has evolved over the past two decades largely due to the internet, which allows for more sophisticated attempts to steal identity such as phishing scams. Identity theft complaints nearly doubled between 2010 and 2015, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

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