Law Enforcers and Public Records

Aside from being public servants who are tasked to protect the general public, did you also know that the police departments can likewise be a good source of a lot of useful information? Yes, they could be. If you will visit the local law enforcement offices in your area, you can actually access a lot of public records from them that you could use in many situations.

For example, let’s say that you are someone who has a new business and you are looking forward to dealing with a lot of people for future expansion. You will surely need to encounter a lot of different individuals to do that such as employees, clients, suppliers and even prospective business partners. In order for you to determine the reliability and trustworthiness of people you deal with, you should use public records for your references too.

There are actually a lot of records that you can use. For example, you can check court records, arrest records and criminal records to see if any person in consideration really has an unquestionable character. You could check the mentioned public records so you could be aware of any wrong doings that a person may have done in the past. This isn’t about being suspicious all the time and being paranoid about the people that you will need to deal with but this activity is being done by many people so they could make wise decisions.

You would surely not want to do business dealings with someone who has been arrested in the past for embezzlement charges. That could really be risky for you. Aside from that, you surely wouldn’t want to be being close to someone, much less work with a person who is a registered sex offender. You and those other people would constantly be in danger and you will feel nervous about it all the time. Through those public records, it will be possible to that have criminal records.

These days, you wouldn’t have to go to the actual police department offices when you want to obtain access to those documents. You can actually go to the online websites that offer people with access to the records you need. What you will need to do is to look for public records sites since there are a lot of them out there. You might even choose between free sites and paid providers.

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.

A Career in Criminal Law

A good criminal lawyer can make the difference in a client losing a business or car license, losing assets, or even preventing jail time. A criminal lawyer is expected to be skilled in negotiation and presenting facts on his client in a favorable light. They will often be presented with difficult cases requiring a great deal of skill in presenting facts in a way that benefits the client. If this kind of career interests you and you wish to know more how to pursue this career, then read on.

Job description

A criminal lawyer is expected to defend clients charged with criminal offenses. This can cover a wide range of criminal offenses such as domestic violence, sex offenses, violent crimes, drug crimes, embezzlement, fraud, theft, and driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). A criminal lawyer can of course specialize in one area and become drug offence solicitors, traffic lawyers or sex offence lawyers, but in general they must be able to handle a diverse spectrum of criminal offenses. A criminal lawyer will be required to handle bail bond hearings, trial hearings, parole and probation hearings, and present plea bargains. They will need to be skilled at building a defense and creating a case strategy, and be able to argue motions, and negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecution to lessen the charges.

Skills required

It is essential for a criminal lawyer to possess strong negotiation skills. They will be required to have excellent oral and writing ability, and strong research and investigative skills. They must be able to stay calm and think logically, and have the ability to think on their feet and change tactics quickly if necessary. They must have an in-depth understanding of criminal law and an ability to navigate the criminal justice system. They must also possess excellent interpersonal skills in order to help build a strong client-attorney relationship.

Qualifications required

To pursue a career in criminal law you will be required to obtain a law degree and pass the bar examination. There are generally two routes you can take to become qualified. The first route is via a four-year degree in criminal law or criminal justice. This will include coursework which covers topics such as criminology, investigative techniques, corrections, rehabilitation, and psychology. The other route a student can take is via an associate degree. An associate degree program in criminal justice or law enforcement will require you to have basic college-level qualifications such as English composition, criminal justice, criminal procedure, psychology and various electives. Work out which route would suit you best then make enquiries about courses available. Note that many universities offer online criminal law programs, so if there are no courses available to you locally or you have other commitments, an online course may be the most suitable option for you. As for course fees, if you cannot afford to pay for this yourself, you can apply for a government grant or government assisted loan. Enquire with the university how to go about applying for a government grant or assisted loan.

Embezzlement Attorney: Why Are They Needed?

Embezzlement is a robbery of property or home and/or funds by an individual or business that is the reason for coping with the sources. Embezzlement in most cases only occurs in corporate surroundings and areas of work and is different from larceny in that the resources are initially acquired legally. Because of this, nevertheless, any person or corporation continues to be wrongly arrested for embezzlement nevertheless, there wasn’t any criminal intentions. As an example, that loan that runs unpaid for a long period of time may trigger embezzlement fees.

The outlawed transport of residence or finances from the business, when it comes to personal use, referred to as embezzlement. This often happens when the culprit has legitimate entry to the property and resources, as he/she may be entrusted having its handling and care. This may be a part of the work. When this occurs, it’s possible that this culprit takes benefit of his/her situation and uses the money for private benefits, in lieu of working with it for the designated intent. Inside a business setting, embezzlement is definitely a common offense.

Embezzlement Defense
When a person or an entity is involved in embezzlement, the duty of proof lies on the prosecution. Prosecutors must establish that the offender took benefit from his location by transforming another party’s investments into his or her own. It must be also shown that:

• The disputed possessions were recovered through the defendant”s work.
• The method by which the accused apparently manipulated the property was fraudulent or creates a misappropriation.
• There was confidence between the offender and the entity that was allegedly embezzled.
• The opposition meant to deprive the owner of the possessions.

Embezzlement assumes great shape and in some cases, the queue between correct usage of assets and theft may not be wholly clear. A criminal defense lawyer with practical knowledge handling such instances might help defend your rights and effectively raise doubt in a court of law, which can lead to an acquittal of the expenses.

Aftermaths of Embezzlement Charges
Embezzlement charges can conduct serious consequences regardless of whether the defendant is responsible. Allegations of embezzlement are quite embarrassing and can in many cases ruin a person or an entity”s status. Moreover, an embezzlement conviction may trigger significant fines and/or a prison sentence up to 2 decades depending of the value of assets taken as well as other factors in case. To make sure that your protection under the law and pursuits are fully protected, you will need to retain a very qualified and experienced criminal law attorney who has knowledge of embezzlement law and can help reduce the fees, or even receive an acquittal.

The best way to organize a defense against embezzlement charges is almost always to retain a qualified attorney immediately. An attorney who has experience of representing persons charged with embezzlement should be able to enable you to view the charges, organize your defense, making critical legal decisions. Early preparation and investigation may cause the embezzlement charges being dropped altogether. In case you or someone you love has been accused of embezzlement, speak to a lawyer as soon as possible.

White Collar Crimes: An Overview

There are many different crimes in the world today. Some of the overlooked crimes fall into the white collar crime category. This category is made up of crimes that do not necessarily “hurt” someone. They often happen in professional settings and include things such as embezzlement, pyramid schemes, and fraud. Many times when people see some sort of corporate scandal on the news, it is about a white collar crime. It has been found that the public as a whole is more willing to forgive people who commit these crimes. It is important to remember that they can result in just as much jail time as any other type of illegal activity.

White collar crimes are frequently committed by people in government or business positions. Many of them are felonies and typically involve some sort of fraudulent activity. There is a long list of crimes including:

  • Forgery
  • Money laundering
  • Insider trading
  • Bribery
  • Copyright infringement
  • Identity theft
  • Commodities and securities fraud
  • Embezzlement
  • Any and every type of fraud such as bankruptcy fraud and insurance fraud

The biggest difference between blue collar crimes and white collar crimes is that violence is normally not a factor in white collar offenses. The perpetrators are normally financially privileged, especially in comparison to blue collar offenders. Money is often the main motivation of these crimes and while it causes no physical harm to others, businesses and individuals can lose hundreds of thousands of dollars. Any office where financial transactions take place and sensitive information is accessed on a daily basis is at risk for crime. Whether it is a corporate, business, or government office, no environment is immune.

The news is often full of corruption and large corporation scandals. These are perfect examples of the magnitude that white collar crimes can reach. One positive side of handling white collar crimes is that the offense can be committed by an entire agency and not just a single person. Civil law suits against companies can occur because of this type of crime. Common crimes that can be committed by the institute and not the individual include price fixing, false advertising, and company overcharges.

While it would stand to reason that technology improvements would provide better security for businesses, technology is actually making it easier for money to be stolen especially by a savvy person. The crimes are facilitated with computers, paperwork, and any other type of electronic device. These crimes result in some sort of benefit from the company or employee. The goal is normally to make money whether it is through stealing or insider trading.

Unlike other crimes, people are not arrested and charged. An extensive investigation normally takes place so that the right people are accused and charged. If you have been indicted, contacted by an investigator, or fear for your freedom in any way, shape, or form, you need to get in touch with a reliable criminal defense attorney. A lawyer will be at your side through every step of the proceedings. The facts will be evaluated so that you can get a good deal.