White-collar legislation that actively pursues individuals engaged in fraud or schemes via the Internet | My Paper Hub
Case study 1
In September 2015, nine defendants...
Case study 1
In September 2015, nine defendants to a
multimillion Identity tax refund fraud ring were sentenced to 180 months in
prison. The ring leader Keisha Lanier was charged over 5 million dollars for
her role in the stolen identity tax refund fraud that took part between 2011
and 2013. Lanier and her co-conspirator Tracy Mitchell led an enormous scale
ring of over 9,00 false individual federal; income tax returns claiming more
than 24 million dollars in the
fraudulent claims. The stolen identities were from government offices and
agencies such as the Army, several organizations in Alabama and also employee
records in some institutions. The defendants went ahead to acquire several IRS
electronic filing Numbers in the name of some sham businesses so as to file the
online tax returns. They went further to direct the IRs to pay the anticipated
tax refunds to certain prepaid tax businesses, bought some US Treasury checks
and also sent some money to some financial institutions. The fraud also
involved a large chain of their players and also money laundering and they
cashed several tax refund checks at several businesses located in Alabama,
Kentucky and also Georgia.
Case study 2
On August 11, 2015, nine individuals were
charged with the largest reported computer hacking and securities fraud scheme
in New York. The defendants accused of hacking into three business newswires
and then stole some press releases that were yet to be published. They then
used the unreleased press releases to make trading ahead of the public announcements
by the public companies affected. As a result, the businesspeople that used the
information made over 30 million dollars in illegal profits as a consequence of
the market trades made under the influence of the stolen press releases. The
charges against the individuals in found guilty the individuals may be punished
with a penalty of 20 years in prison a fine of 250,000 dollars or a fine of
twice the amount of gains or losses made.
White collar crimes are rampant in the
contemporary society. The word white collar was coined from the perception that
business executive that wears white shirts and ties engage in crimes that are
majorly non-violent in nature (Friedrichs, 2003). The term is also meant to
separate these types of criminal from those that commit the physical crimes.
The white collar crimes are primarily motivated by the financial gains that may
result from them. They are majorly civil and criminal violations that also
include some other individuals in most cases. Many white collar crimes go
without anyone noticing or reporting in most cases, and when such crimes are
revealed to the public, they tend to be huge news (Leap, 2007). Such news
headlines for days and if they involve a big company or if they affect many
people could be one the headlines even weeks. They are usually very impactful
because they typically have an impact on a lot of people, involve the changing
or alteration of a public culture and also involve massive amounts of money.
The cases that involve white collar crimes are difficult to prosecute because
they may often be very sophisticated involving a very large number of people
(Friedrichs, 2003). Regular people also commit them in the course of conducting
business and in most cases individuals least expect such an occurrence to be
going (Leap, 2007). The internet has even made the legislation of such
situations even further difficult since tracing the criminals through the
online platforms may be difficult because they may be using aliases instead of
the real names or information. The white collar crimes may involve bribery,
fraud, embezzlement, extortion and also cybercrime (Green, 2006).
The internet over the years has become
an ideal system used by government agencies, companies, and other systems not
only nationally but also globally (Green, 2006). However, the internet has
become an ideal leeway to engage in white collar crimes. It has become the tool
for the majority of white collar criminals. It is because; it is the easiest
and fastest way to reach a large number of people (Green, 2006). Because nearly
all the household in the country is collected to the internet either through
their personal computers or their mobile phones, it present t the ideal
platform for white collar criminal to reach a large niche or group of people
that are potential victims to their antiques. The internet crimes have also in
the recent past included large scale theft and fraud that involve pyramid
schemes that may be advanced such as the fee fraud, spoofing, and the phishing
There is increased white collar
financial, cyber crime and political crimes being observed in society today.
The greater use of technology more so the internet for trading and also doing
the business operations has been the principal instigation for the cybercrime
activities witnessed today (Green, 2006). There are numerous risks that cone
with the use of technology to all the individuals that use them and therefore
the victims could be anyone. There i9s no unique niche or demographic that may
be subject to an internet related white collar crime. There is, therefore, the
need to improve and also enhance the laws and legislations aimed at reducing
the number and also the effects of white collar crimes (Koller, 2012). These
laws should also institute mechanisms that individuals may be able to recover
the losses that they may be making in the case of a white collar crime in all
cases. At the present, the process of recouping any losses incurred in the
event of an internet white collar crime is every long with high bureaucracy and
also complicated. It is also very time consuming and at times expensive due to
the long legal process that it takes to get to the ultimate goal of getting the
money back. It is because of the compound nature of the cases. The complexity
of the crimes could be seen in the case studies especially in case study one
above whereby the defendants were defrauding the IRS on tax refunds (Green, 2006).
The process that they took to steal the identities of the victims file the tax
returns and even receive the checks involve a lot of layers of individuals
including corrupt postal officers that made it possible for them to receive the
checks and cash them.
From the case studies, it is clear that
several white collar crimes are existent under the use of the internet in the
offence. The crimes defined in the cases include wire fraud, securities fraud,
money laundering, computer fraud, identity theft and also refund fraud (Koller,
2012). In both cases, there are fines that those found guilty of the crimes may
attract and these fines are usually payable by the defendant. Moreover, all the
assets of such an individual are also frozen, and their banks account taken
over if there is the need to recoup the losses made by the victims. These are
the effort by the legislations to ensure that the victims can recover the
losses made and also to make sure that the crimes are sufficiently discouraged
to make sure that other individuals are not engaged in similar actions in the
future (Friedrichs, 2003).
The obvious thing about the possibility
of recouping losses by a person or victim is that it any prove to be virtually
impossible to do in some circumstances. For example, in the case of the nine
defendants that benefited from the hacking to trade in advance and made profits,
the money may not be present anymore in their accounts by the time the case is
heard and determined. The majority of the defendants are aware that there is
the possibility of such an individual to be caught and therefore their bank
accounts to offshore banks that the federal government may not be in a position
to reach. As a result, there may be the presence of the prison sentences may
not deter an individual that is determined to make more money than ever. If a
person commits fraud and makes millions of dollars and is sentenced to 10
years, they may prefer to serve their prison sentence and keep their money
(Koller, 2012). It is, therefore, imperative that the legislations come up with
other techniques to address the issue and ensure that individually can recoup
their losses. It can be done so by making sure that one and individual raise
suspicion of being involved in any form of white collar crimes, their accounts
should be frozen as well as their assets with speed before they can act. The
Federal Bureau of Investigations that majorly deals with the cases should have
the mandate to work and isolate the individual’s property without spending so
much time in courts while trying to get a court order. It is the frozen assets
and money that the victims may recoup their losses from once the individuals
are found guilty (Koller, 2012).
Another strategy to ensure that victims
recover the damages is to make sure that all the individual involved in the
scheme or fraud at all levels despite their minimal role as long as they shared
in the financial gains of the crime, should also be part of paying the victims
(Stewart, 2013). For example, in the first case study, all the people involved
including the postal service officers hold to participate in paying off the damages
accrued to the government in the scheme that defrauded the IRS millions of
dollars through tax refunds. In the
second case study, all the individuals including then hackers and the
businesspeople that profited from the cyber crime and fraudulent trading should
also share in repaying the losses made as a result of their actions.
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