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What’s Happening in the World of White Collar Crime

White collar crimes are happening every day, and they affect all of us in ways most people don’t realize. Not only do these crimes tell us about business and political climates, they also provide unique opportunities to view white collar law in action.

While some white-collar crimes make it to the front page, not all of them do. Here are a few of the leading white-collar crimes that you should be reading about.

“Pharma Bro” Sentenced to 7 Years

Martin Shkreli, the man more famously known as “Pharma Bro”, was sentenced to 7 years in prison for securities fraud charges related to his former drug company called Retrophin, as well as two hedge funds he ran.

An emotional Shkreli attempted to appeal to the judge by acknowledging self-responsibility for his behaviors. While the 7-year sentence is significantly more than the 18 months suggested by his defense team, the punishment for this crime was not as severe as it could have been. Prosecutors had asked for a 15-year sentence, citing that Shkreli’s crimes totaled $10.4 million in losses.

Shkreli was found guilty of misleading investors about the bleak performance of the healthcare hedge funds he operated and conspiring to fraudulently manipulate stock shares of his pharma company, Retrophin, which was created after his hedge funds collapsed.

San Diego Men Plead Guilty to Insider Trading

Paul Rampoldi, a 50-year-old stockbroker from San Diego, was found guilty by federal jury of conspiracy to commit insider trading, money laundering and wire fraud. There were additional charges against Rampoldi that the jury was unable to reach a verdict on.

One of Rampoldi’s clients, Scott Blythe, pleaded guilty to charges which involved illegal trades based on an insider tip involving the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.

Other conspirators were involved in the case but admitted involvement and cooperated with investigations of Rampoldi and Blythe.

Sentencing for the two men is set for May 25, 2018.

Coinbase Facing Class Action Suit

Coinbase, one of the world’s largest digital currency exchanges is having a class action lawsuit filed against them by a group of private cryptocurrency traders. Allegations include Coinbase employees using insider trading on Bitcoin Cash.

When Bitcoin announced a second line of cryptocurrency called Bitcoin Cash, Coinbase stated that they would not deal with the new line of currency and urged everyone who would want access to it to withdraw their bitcoins from the service. A few days later they reversed their decision.

Following this, they announced they would accept Bitcoin Cash trades, skyrocketing the value of the cryptocurrency. This move inflated Bitcoin Cash and resulted in liquidation issues and manipulation of the fair market value of the cryptocurrency, leading to the class action lawsuit.

Insurance Agent Sentenced to 9 years for $1.4 Million Insurance Fraud

Insurance agent Shawn Herffernan, 43 of San Diego, was sentenced to 9 years in prison for defrauding 15 customers of over $1.4 million over several years. Many of the victims of Herffernan’s crimes were senior citizens.

In February, Herffernan hammered out a plea agreement for a total of 29 charges against him. The charges included multiple counts of elder fraud, grand theft, forgery and fraudulent tax returns.

The maximum sentence that Mr. Herffernan could have received for his crimes was more than 23 years. His 9-year sentence is also considerably less than the 14 years that was recommended by the Probation Department.

Do you have questions about white collar crimes? We’re here to be a resource to our community. Contact Elden Law Group, and let’s talk about what’s on your mind.

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