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What is fraud and how is it prosecuted?

White collar crimes can be from a variety of issues. It can be securities fraud, embezzlement, Ponzi schemes, tax evasion or even money laundering, to name a few. If you are involved in something that appears to be illegal, you may need to do your research and find a good attorney who can answer your questions.

Fraud is defined as deceiving someone to receive monetary gain. This type of action can lead to jail or prison, steep fines and a stained record for the rest of your life.

Securities fraud can be a variety of crimes but it generally is thought of as someone who has inside information about the trading of stocks and bonds and this person uses the information for personal gain. Another type of securities fraud can be creating a story that makes the company in question look better than they are. This is deception and if you are involved in it, you may be charged with a white collar crime.

Of course, you need to know that the information you are sharing is fraudulent. For instance, if you are a trader and your boss gives you false information about a company and you tell a buyer this information, you aren't liable for prosecution. You were merely passing along information that was told you by your supervisor.

Money laundering is an act that takes funds that were gotten illegally and filters them through a legitimate company in order to "clean up" the money. The money is first deposited in a bank. Then, the funds go through layers of often very complex transactions that make it hard for anyone to track. The last step is to commingle the money with legally obtained cash.

If you are involved in any type of fraud and may be charged with a crime, you need to know that there are extenuating circumstances. You may need to advice of an attorney who knows the laws of Louisiana.

Source: FindLaw, "White collar crime," accessed Jan. 28, 2016

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