At Elden Law Group, we keep a close eye on local, state, and national cases. Our country has reached a crossroads when it comes to prosecuting and sentencing white collar crimes, and we feel recent cases have highlighted this change.
Here are three of the most important cases we have on our radar:
California Representative Under Indictment
Despite being under indictment for misusing more than $250,000 in campaign funding for personal expenses and lying about it on disclosure forms, California’s 50th Congressional District may consider giving incumbent Duncan Hunter another two-year term in the United States House of Representatives.
The indictment in question is forty-seven pages long. Hunter pled not guilty to all charges in federal court on Thursday, August 23. Afterward, he released a statement that said, “I am not going anywhere.”
The charges stem from an investigation that began in June of 2016, following reports from the media and a Federal Election Commission inquiry. If convicted on all counts, both Hunter and his wife could spend three to five years in prison.
Former Illinois Business Manager Sentenced in Fraud Case
A former business manager at an oil and gas company in Illinois was sentenced to nearly four years in prison for possessing forced securities, money laundering, and filing false tax returns.
In total, Kent Cutchin stole $837,251. This money must be fully repaid to R Energy, the company Cutchin used to manage. The defendant is also responsible for paying more than $230,000 to the IRS.
According to prosecutors, Cutchin wrote checks to himself, forging the signature of R Energy’s company president more than 500 times. The crime took place between December of 2011 and February of 2015, and the stolen money was used to make improvements to Cutchin’s home – in addition to buying an all-terrain utility vehicle.
New York Representative to Face Sentencing
In a nationally-covered case, prosecutors believe Congressional Representative Chris Collins and his son Cameron could face maximum sentences of 150 years in federal prison if convicted on all charges filed against them.
The charges allege Collins gave an insider stock tip to his son, which enabled him and others to sell 1.78 million shares of stock before losing more than $750,000.
In this political climate, prosecutors are more often calling for long sentences in white crime cases. But the average sentence remains far below the maximum guideline.
In March, for example, a college researcher was sentenced to fifteen months in federal prison for his role in an insider trading scheme that landed him about $120,000.
In another case, a professional sports gambler was given five years in federal prison for his role in a $43 million insider trading scheme.
Then, of course, there’s the New York City attorney who was sentenced to just 27 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to an insider trading scheme that landed him about $1 million.
Court records from these cases have given defense attorneys for Collins and his son reason to believe a realistic sentence will last between 4 and 6 years, if convicted on all counts.
Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney for Representation
Do you need representation for a white collar crime in California? Our attorneys have years of experience defending federal cases involving trade, laundering, and fraud. Contact our team to learn more.