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Husband and wife team sentenced for $7 M theft

A couple from Newport Coast, California were convicted and sentenced in March to federal prison for fraud charges stemming from their alleged theft of $7 million from a consortium consisting of seven separate banks. The alleged white collar crime resulted in the husband receiving a sentence of 21 months while his wife was sentenced to three years. The couple was also ordered to pay $4.7 million in restitution.

The couple owned an import business in Anaheim and were accused of obtaining a $130 million line of credit from the banking consortium. The charges alleged that they defrauded the banks by overstating their accounts receivable by millions of dollars in order to access the funds. The couple eventually pleaded guilty to the charges and also admitted to falsification of records.

Unlike violent crime, white collar crime charges are often based on financial evidence. Those who have been charged with white collar crimes may be accused of falsifying accounting documentation to misrepresent income or of embezzlement of the funds of employers. In order to justify these charges, prosecutors often seek financial records that show discrepancies between income and other financial factors.

When a person is accused of a white collar crime, it is important to establish the recordkeeping system used for the business and the various ways with which it could be tampered. This may lead to an accused person's vindication if he or she was not the one who changed the company's financial records. A criminal defense attorney may be able to support an accused person by representing him or her in court and presenting evidence that the accused did not actually commit any crime.

Source: Loan Safe, "Senior couple in Orange County sentenced for stealing nearly $5M from seven financial institutions," Evan Bedard, March 13, 2013

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