Child Support – A Man’s Point of View

As the old saying goes, there is always 2 sides to every story. When it comes to child support you very rarely hear anything about the men (and women) who are paying the child support. Just like there are dead beat parents paying child support, there are dead beat parents receiving child support. There are no laws regulating what must be done with the money once it is received.

If the payer does not pay, they go to jail, but if the payee does not spend any of the money on the child nothing happens. Believe me when I say that this does happen and probably more than one would think. The thing that got me to thinking about this is an article that I read earlier in the week where a man had been jailed for not paying child support for a child that was not his. This man had not one, but 2 test proving that he was not the father, but still did time. You would think that someone would have the good sense to do the right think, but I guess not in this situation.

My experiences with the courts and the child support system are not ones that I think of fondly. I dare not mention the city or even the state where I pay child support, but they have a system which is outside of the norm. I have spent many hours and a hole lot of money fighting accounting errors and bogus charges, but no one cares. The county is making money off of me and men like me.

I have sat in court and watched my attorneys just shake their heads in amazement in what these people are able to get away with. It is obviously not appropriate to quote the attorney here exactly, but the words said it all.

The former child support clerk is now in prison for embezzling almost $220,000 over a five year period. While she was having men thrown in jail for being a few days late or a few dollars short she was writing checks to herself out of the funds that were coming in. You have to ask yourself, where was the accountability in this case. It is my belief that the corruption is much more widespread that what is known, but again being one who is still in the system and will continue to be for years to come I fear retaliation if I express too harsh of an opinion.

Bottom line, payers are suffering too. They just don’t get the attention that payees receive.

Fraud Schemes – 6 Main Types Of Occupational Fraud

Occupational Fraud: The use of one’s occupation for personal enrichment through the deliberate misuse or misapplication of the employing organization’s resources or assets.
-The key to occupational fraud is that the activity:

a. Is clandestine

b. Violates the employee’s fiduciary duties to the organization

c. Is committed for the purpose of direct or indirect financial benefit to the employee

1. Employee Embezzlement

-Most common type of occupational fraud (more than 80% of frauds)

-Employees deceive their employer by taking company assets.

-Cash most targeted asset, taken 90% of the time

Occupational Fraud can be either direct or indirect

-Direct Fraud: employee steals company cash, inventory, tools, supplies, or other assets, or establishes dummy companies and have employers pay for goods that are not actually delivered Does not use a 3rd party, the money goes straight to perpetrator’s pockets.

-Indirect Fraud: employees take bribes or kickbacks from vendors, customers, or others outside the company to allow for lower sales prices, higher purchase prices, nondelivery of goods, or the delivery of inferior goods. Usually payment to employees is made by organizations that deal with the perpetrator’s employer, not the employer itself.

2. Management Fraud

-Usually fraud by top management’s deceptive manipulation of financial statements

3. Investment Fraud

-Closely related to management fraud

-Fraudulent and usually worthless investments are sold to unsuspecting investors.

-Charles Ponzi is father of investment scams

-In 2000, more than $5 billion lost from telemarketing fraud

-Recent mutual fund frauds were investment scams using market timing and late trading

-Illegal market timing is an investment technique that involves short term in-and-out trading of mutual fund shares. This technique has caused losses to long term mutual fund investors of approximately $5 billion per year.

-Late trading allowed selected investors to purchase mutual funds after 4 pm using that days Net Asset Value (NAV) rather than the next day’s NAV that is required under law. Investors would capitalize on positive earnings news and then were allowed to immediately reap the benefit of the stocks upward movement the following day.

4. Vendor Fraud – 2 types

a. Fraud perpetrated by vendors acting alone

b. Fraud perpetrated through collusion between buyers and vendors

Usually results in either overcharge for purchased goods,
shipment of inferior goods, or nonshipment of goods even though
payment is made

5. Customer Fraud

-Customers either do not pay full price for goods purchased, they get something for nothing, or they deceive organizations into giving them something they should not have.

6. Miscellaneous Fraud

-Fraud that doesn’t fit into first five types and may have been committed for reasons other than financial gain

What Is Solicitation And Why It’s A Crime

Solicitation would be the act through which a person is swayed or otherwise convinced to do a crime or be a part of a criminal activity, without which he may not have been mixed up in crime. For example, supplying a big incentive for carrying out a crime. In the United States, solicitation could be the term of a criminal offense, an inchoate offense that is made up of person offering cash or something else of worth in order to provoke or cause another to commit a criminal offense with the precise intent that the person solicited make the crime. In the USA, the word “solicitation” indicates some sort of industrial element, consideration, or transaction. In some other common law nations around the world, the problem is different. Where the substantive criminal offense is not committed, the charges are drawn through incitement, conspiracy, and attempt. Next, if the substantive offense is determined, the accusations are drawn from conspiracy, counseling and procuring (see accessories), and the substantive crimes as joint principals (see common purpose).

A person is guilty of solicitation to commit a criminal offense if, with all the purpose of endorsing or facilitating its commission, he commands, encourages or requests another person to engage in specific conduct which may constitute such criminal offense or an effort to do such crime or which may determine his complicity in the commission or attempted commission.

It is immaterial that the actor ceases to communicate with the individual he solicits to do the criminal offense if his behavior was fashioned to influence this type of communication. The offense of criminal solicitation is the actual soliciting, or trying to engage another to do a crime, not necessarily the following commission of the crime. Consequently, the defendant may be convicted of soliciting, even though the individual declines and the solicited crime has never been perpetrated, as long as the motive that that crime be committed is present.

Immediate request, plea, or entreaty; enticing, asking. This is the criminal offense of advocating anyone to do an illegal act. The term solicitation can be used in many different legitimate contexts. A person who asks someone to do an unlawful act has committed the criminal act of solicitation. A worker who has agreed in an employment agreement not to solicit business after leaving behind her employer then mails a letter to customers asking for business may be sued by the previous employer for breaking the non-solicitation terms of the agreement. The letter comprises a solicitation. However, if the person had placed a newspaper advertisement, this would not have been a solicitation because a solicitation must be addressed to a particular person.

In most cases, solicitation is about motive. A court will analyze the method a worker utilizes to get hold of and get in touch with previous customers and detect his or her intent that way. Judge Kocoras once said that solicitation doesn’t need “an express request for business.” Contact which is more harmless and oblique can rise to the level of “solicitation.” Courts also have held that an employee cannot make contact and advise a customer that following a particular period of time, she or he will be able to assist that client again. The solicitation of future business is not exempt.

Safeguard Your Nonprofit’s Mission – How to Protect Against Fraud

Fraud is a word that conjures up many images in your mind. Maybe your definition of fraud is someone lying to you, stealing from you or conspiring against you while pretending to help you. All of these are true…and it can happen to your nonprofit if you do not know how to protect it.

Those who seek to harm or defraud you can come from both inside and outside your nonprofit. Either can be devastating to the health of your organization, both financially and psychologically. Let’s take a look at both scenarios and I’ll give you some tips on how to avoid becoming a victim.

Outsiders. For anyone who has not been victimized by an outsider, it can seem like a remote concern. “Surely we can spot a scam,” you tell yourself. Ask any victim of Bernie Madoff how easy it is to be taken. Just among our clientele at The Foundation Group, we have a Florida nonprofit that invested its entire endowment in a sure-thing Madoff fund. It’s all gone…every penny. Granted, this one was hard to spot. Madoff made off for many years right under the noses of regulators! But it doesn’t take a Bernie Madoff to cause severe damage to your organization.

I once had an acquaintance (considered a friend at the time) who seemed to have a real heart for charity. He was a former NFL player with the Pittsburgh Steelers and had a great life story. He frequently spoke before civic groups, churches and other community groups. He was an ordained minister. Seemed like he knew everyone. I even remember seeing him on television counseling with families who lost loved ones on 9/11. Turns out, he was a complete fraud. He never wore a Steeler’s jersey for even a day…or any other jersey for that matter. He was a felon, previously convicted of check kiting. Worse, he used his fake persona and clergy credentials to ingratiate himself with organizations with the ultimate aim of stealing money. More than once he pocketed money he got from an organization that trusted him to help them with fundraising events. He even went so far as to con a mentally-challenged couple (who had inherited a small fortune) into letting him “manage” their assets. He cleaned them out! The law finally caught up with this charlatan, but not until a lot of people were hurt.

The point is this: If in doubt, check them out! In fact, check them out even if you do not see any red flags. The man I knew seemed like the real deal. But a simple check into his story would have blown his cover. Nobody bothered.

Insiders. Getting ripped off by an insider really hurts. It is the ultimate betrayal for a nonprofit. And, just like with an outsider, it can happen under the radar and not be seen until huge damage is done.

The most common form of insider fraud is direct embezzlement. We have uncovered it multiple times with clients. Several years ago, we were hired by a Nashville historic site to review their books. The board had concern that mistakes had been made by their recently departed secretary/bookkeeper. Turns out, the only mistake this person made was employing an amateurish method of stealing money. It took us about 30 minutes to discover what she had done. It took weeks to assess the full amount of the damage…nearly $70,000!

One way to prevent insider fraud is fairly simple: do a background check. It takes a little time, but is not difficult nor is it expensive. The other thing you simply MUST do is institute internal checks and balances. The fact is, the lady I mentioned would have checked out clean. She had no criminal record and had a great resume. But, if this organization had a system of overseeing her handling of the money, something as simple as someone else reconciling the books every month, this could have been prevented. Such internal controls protect not only the organization, but also the integrity of those who work honestly for the organization. The last thing you want is a good person falsely blamed for something.

Will you be able to stop all possible fraud? Probably not. But by using your good sense, and instituting reasonable procedures, you can dramatically limit your risk. In this era of tight organizational budgets, you can little afford to let down your guard.

What Is A White Collar Crime?

White collar crimes involve non-violent actions that are committed by a public official or business person that typically involve the use of deception. No weapons or violence is used in white collar crimes, so the evidence takes the form of a “paper trial,” which can be followed to discover the true details of the crime.

If you have been charged with a white collar crime, it is in your best interest to contact an attorney immediately to learn more about your legal options. Lawyers who understand the complex legal process and have extensive experience handling white collar crime cases will be able to provide you with superior legal representation.

Types of White Collar Crime

Below are several examples of white collar crimes. This list is not exhaustive by any means.

  • Embezzlement – occurs when the person entrusted with someone else’s property takes it without consent.
  • Bribery – occurs when someone either gives or takes a bribe.
  • Larceny – occurs when someone takes someone else’s property without payment and does not return it.
  • Extortion – is also referred to as blackmail.
  • Fraud – occurs when someone uses deception to gain access to other people’s information in order to steal it or benefit from it in some way.
  • Obstruction of Justice – occurs when someone interferes with the criminal process by impeding an investigation.
  • Perjury – occurs when someone lies while under oath in a court proceeding.

Prosecution of White Collar Crimes

Depending on which laws have been broken by the defendant, white collar crimes can be prosecuted at the state or federal level. Conviction most often leads to large fines, jail time, and restitution to the victims of the crimes.

If you have been charged with a white collar crime, a conviction could have a seriously negative impact on your reputation, family life, and career opportunities. Hiring a skilled white collar crime attorney will ensure that you receive the fair trial that you deserve. When it comes to your freedom and reputation, you need an experienced lawyer to aggressively fight for your rights.

A Lawyer Can Help

If you or someone you love has committed white collar crimes such as securities fraud, embezzlement, computer fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, among others, contact a white collar criminal defense lawyer immediately. A knowledgeable and experienced lawyer will work to build a solid defense on your behalf. Contact a white collar criminal defense lawyer to learn more about the protection of your rights.