Criminal Defense Facts and Information – Know Your Rights

Surprisingly, compared to civil law, criminal law comprises a much smaller portion of the legal system. This means that finding a qualified criminal attorney can be more difficult than one may imagine. From traffic tickets to DUI’s many people feel that they are the mercy of the court system and are fighting a losing battle when trying to defend their record unless they hire an experienced attorney.

There are many more television shows about criminal law than civil law. This is because what is most at stake, a person’s liberty and freedom, is much more dramatic.

Determining a person’s guilt or innocence and subjecting him or her to jail time is a huge responsibility upon judges and juries. This is why criminal law has a much higher burden of proof than civil law. While individuals may be able to recoup the financial losses of civil litigation, a person may never regain the time they have spent inside the walls of a prison or repair the damage caused by a criminal record.

“Proof beyond a reasonable doubt” and “innocent until proven guilty” are terms that most people have heard before but the full gravity of these words isn’t felt unless they have faced trouble with the law. Failing to hire an experienced criminal law attorney could jeopardize your innocence and ability to present an effective defense in court.

“Criminal law” is refers to crimes that fall under the classifications of felonies and misdemeanors, summary offenses. Manslaughter, kidnapping, rape, burglary, arson, embezzlement, perjury, conspiracy, solicitation, forgery, assault, and murder are a few felonies. A felony is a crime in which the punishment is more than a year of incarceration. Most criminal law cases end in plea bargains where the defendant will plead to a much lesser charge in exchange for a lighter sentence.

Fox Lake IL Gaming Laws

As early as 2009, 3 years before Fox Lake adopted the 230 ILCS 40 (code for the new video gaming laws), Ed Bender, the then Fox Lake Mayor had seen both sides of the coin regarding the video gaming act. If enacted, he said it might bring the town a bad reputation but at the same time, perhaps it would also attract video gaming enthusiasts from neighboring towns and states where video gambling was illegal. Today, seven years later, video gambling has done more good than harm for Fox Lake and its community. And true to his words, many businesses have sprung up back to their feet. Business data shows that the enactment of this legislation has been good for the whole of Illinois and more local governments are adopting this new law.

By 2012, Fox Lake was waiting for the Illinois Gaming Board to finalize its regulations for the state-run video gaming network so that qualifying business people in the village could apply for their video gaming licenses. Thus, Fox Lake is one of the towns in Illinois that adopted the new video gaming regulations as soon as the law was enacted. How has this affected business in Fox Lake? Many proprietors say they have benefited greatly as we will see later in this article.

At the time, many people thought it was good news – they were right

In 2008, the Illinois smoking ban had gone into effect and it had affected many businesses, with some tavern owners reporting up to 30% less business. However, there was a silver lining in the cloud with the enactment of the 230 ILCS 40 because it would bring back business and compensate the owners for the business they had lost since the smoking ban went into effect.

In a board meeting involving business people and Fox Lake leaders, 10 business people asked the leaders to vote in favor of adopting the new video gaming laws.

But the laws were not accepted from the word go without opposition. Mike Behan, the then Police Chief for Fox Lake had written to the board showing his concerns about the intended adoption of the law. Among his concerns was that legalized video gambling would cause more alcoholism, financial problems in the local families and drunken driving. He was also fearing an increase in embezzlement and fraud cases but he did say that the police would consent to whatever the board voted for.

So, after the adoption of the new video gaming law of Illinois in 2012, has Chief Mike Behan been proved right or has the former mayor been vindicated by an increase in business? All of the evidence available points to the latter. You can confidently conclude that the Fox Lake adoption of the new Illinois video gambling laws was well advised and that it has brought more financial benefits than harm to the locals.

October 2012 to October 2013

The state of Illinois passed the law legalizing video gambling in 2009. Under the new law, fraternal organizations, truck stops, bars, veterans groups and restaurants could set up to 5 terminals in their establishments. They would however have to get a license for each terminal from the Illinois Gaming Board. From 2009, it took a further three years to streamline the regulation but when everything fell into place, Fox Lake was one of the first places to get on the state-run video gaming network, in 2012.

In the first year of approving video gambling licenses in the suburb, the city officials had only budgeted for $12,000 but to their pleasant surprise, the amount of money that video gaming raked in for them was many times more than that, at a handsome $93,338. This revenue was used for funding the Pace Bus program and since then, video gaming revenue has been directed to huge improvements in the village. For a small place like Fox Lake to earn more than $90K in the first year of operation, it shows that there is a lot of potential in video gambling and that is what prompted the licensing authorities to license more establishments to host video gaming terminals.

Fox Lake establishments that have video gaming terminals

Many businesses have enjoyed the benefits of legalized video gambling. One of these businesses is Stella’s Place that offers restaurant services as well as video gaming services. But it is the gaming experience that you will get there that is so outstanding, with more than 40 of video poker games and slots. The beautiful ambience and the good food add to the warmth of the place, attracting more diners and gamers.

It is open every day from 8.00Am to 2.00AM and while it has many items on the menu, gaming is the main course. It is the ideal entertainment place for grownups who want to have a video poker experience to try their luck.

J’s Sports Bar and Grill in Fox Lake has also been a big beneficiary from the proceeds raked in from video gaming. The owner of this establishment once said that video gaming saved the business from closing. Video gaming with voucher payments is now one of the biggest attractions on the J’s Sports Bar menu.

Fox Lake Country Club has 5 gaming terminals, the maximum number that is allowed by the law. The total amount won here is $8,421,675.44 so far. This establishment offers an 18-hole golf course and because it is open to the public, it is a very popular venue for summer vacations and video gaming.

Hidden Point Bar & Grill offers video poker from its three video gambling terminals. This is in accompaniment to some of the tastiest Mexican pork tacos that you will ever taste in the world. The total amount of money won at these three terminals comes up to more than $1.5 million.

Conclusion

There is no doubt that the 2012 decision to allow Fox Lake to get on the state-run video gaming network was a good decision for all parties involved. Business has grown exponentially with some proprietors saying that having video gaming terminals in their establishments saved them from closing down. The local and state governments have also benefitted by getting more revenue to run community programs for the benefit of their citizens. With legalized video gambling in the state of Illinois, more income and better business opportunities have been generated.

How to Prevent Embezzlement in Your Organization

Embezzlement is an act of unlawful misappropriation of property by a person to whom it has been entrusted or is in his care/custody. In many cases embezzlement by employee does not become public and the employee is fired without any reason and charges are not filed. Embezzlement is like a parasite which eats your business. Internal control measures not only make embezzlement difficult but they could also make management aware to embezzlement when it occurs.

Few internal control measures against embezzlement are as follows:

Whenever possible, segregate duties and responsibilities. If one person has access to, or processes an entire transaction, the risk of fraud is high. If possible rotate duties.

Another method that deter embezzlement is to regularly and unexpectedly move funds from one advisor or entrusted person to another when the funds are supposed to be available for withdrawal or use, this will ensure that full amount of funds is available and no fraction of it is embezzled by the person to whom it has been entrusted.

Conduct periodic surprise internal audits. These are most effective after identifying high risk areas. Surprise internal audit can acts as a deterrent to embezzlement.

Other step which may be taken to prevent embezzlement is to follow careful recruitment procedures, while hiring employees for position of trust. The typical background check involves employment and education verification, reference checks, criminal conviction checks, drug screening and a credit check.

Explain ethics of organization to each and every employee from top to bottom. Explain them that there minutes activities are monitored. Employees who believe that they are being monitored are less likely to steal.

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