Criminal Offences

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Tuesday, June 7, 2016: A Man from New Jersey Arrested and Charged With $3.4 Million Fraud Scheme

On 7th June, a Jersey City man came under arrest on charges of defrauding investors through phony contracts to sell olive oil to key retailers and then spend the money on purchases. Antonio Fasolino aged 59 was arrested by FBI special agents and charged with wire fraud. He was scheduled to appear that afternoon before the federal Magistrate Judge Mark Falk of Newark federal court.  It was asserted that Fasolino owned many companies that purportedly involved in manufacturing, sale and distribution of tomato sauce, pasta olive oil as well as other food products. It was reported that  In 2012,  he engaged in fraud scheme investment where he obtained over $3.4 million from two victims through false representation that his companies had gotten lucrative contracts to sell olive oil, Of which, there were nothing like such contracts.   He spent the proceeds on himself, among them a car and mortgage payments, a nuptial, apartment rentals, college tuition as well as credit card payments. The count carries a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000, or double the gross gain or damages caused by the crime.

February 10, 2016: Key Person in $3M Credit Card Scam Arrested

A resident of New York was wanted for playing a key role in multi-million dollar credit card fraud based in Hudson County came under arrest on February 10th.Mohammad Zaman aged 42, emerged as  ” key figure” in an elaborate fraud ring that was dismantled by the state as well as federal authorities three months before the arrest. Mohammad is among 13 individuals faced fraud and money laundering charges. Zaman obtained stolen Social Security numbers, which his group used to generate fake identities in their scheme. This group obtained credit cards as well as bank accounts by use of phony identities, authorities claim and deposited bad checks in victim’s  accounts and used them o transact on the cards as a way of inflating their credit lines . Finally, the accused and his group busted out the credit cards by running them up to limits, often by making use of shell companies devised mainly to get credit card machines and process fake transactions. In their scheme, they stole over $3 million through their cunning technique but $1.9 million was seized by the law enforcement agencies. He was given $1 million bail. The charges were first-degree money laundering, second-degree theft by unlawful taking as well as third-degree fraudulent credit cards use. It was sad that many of Zaman’s co-defendants were out on bail after bail reductions. It was reported that one of the accused named Sheikh, posted bail though he was later returned to custody by the Immigration and Customs agents.

March 31, 2016: Two Sentenced to Prison for Fraud Crime Involving Home Depot

Two people were found guilty of running scamming activities in several Home Depot stores based in New Jersey and other states. The law enforcement asserted that the fraud crime incidences happened severally. The two individuals were said to have managed to take more than $250,000 in cash as well as goods for fraudulent returns. The authorities asserted that the two individuals aged 75 and 31 plotted and executed a double-dipping scam from 2009 to 2011. In their crimes, they bought items from stores and then went back to the store without any merchandise but with a receipt for sales. At the store, they ended up getting similar types of products they had earlier bought and brought the newly collected products to the checkout counter, specifically in store’s garden center. At this point, they ended up requesting a refund for the items even when they had not bought them. It was said that after requesting for refunds, the two would obtain either store credit or cash and then repeated their scheme. In the course of their criminal activities, Home Depot lost over $250,000 in the scheme. The two men were found guilty by the grand jury for conspiring to carry out wire fraud and carrying it out. The two individuals were to spend time in custody with one getting 30 months while the other getting 28 months. The court similarly ordered them to pay restitution.

From a legal perspective, the way New Jersey criminal justice tried to address the three crimes is recommendable.  The reason is that there were great efforts to ensure the perpetrators came to book. Inability to handle white collar crimes in the society has a direct impact on the society.  For the case of 3.4 Million Fraud Scheme, investors end up losing their money. As a result, the society stagnated in the development, and the end promotes other social problems.  For the $3M credit card scam, Social Security numbers of victims were stolen.  It means that the society ends up losing its social security.  This can lead to suffering among victims from the fact that their claims which they might be sole help will have been stolen. Scamming activities in several Home Depot stores also has a direct impact on the society. The crime can lead to the collapse of the business sinking job opportunities as well as product availability to the society.

The three cases present typical category of white collar crimes.  They present characteristics which define white collar crimes.  First, the three crimes have an aspect of financial motivation.  White collar crimes are always financially motivated and in the above crimes, money gain is the ultimate goal. There is also the use of false identities and documentation to carry out the crimes. White collar crimes have this characteristic and hence false representation, and use of tricks in the above three crimes knits them to white collar crimes. Perpetrators of white collar crime always take advantage of their profession and experience to carry out their crimes (Croall, 2001).  This situation is presented in the above crimes from the fact that the three crimes happened since perpetrators were well vast with the practices of the crime enabling environment.  White collar crimes also have specific targets where perpetrators are always sure of unsuspecting victims.  In the above crimes, perpetrators perfectly chose their victims who continued to lose their money without suspecting anything.   Similarly, white collar crimes do not employ aspects of violence. Instead, it employs tricks and skills that tempt people to fall victims.  In the above crimes, the same applies. Perpetrators also take advantage of technology to enable them to carry out their crimes.  In most cases, this situation occurs through false transactions on credit cards.  In the above crimes, it remains evident that false transactions became part of crime enabling factor.  To conclude, the above crimes presents white collar crime category since they have characteristics that define white collar crimes.

References

Croall, H. (2001): Understanding white collar crime. Buckingham: Open University.

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