As many as 24 current and former government employees have been charged with stealing government benefits. The United States attorney's office in Memphis, Tennessee said the 24 people charged were all former employees of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the government agency responsible for tax collection and the enforcement of tax laws. According to the indictment, the defendants fraudulently received over $250,000 in government benefits including unemployment insurance payments housing vouchers, food stamps and welfare checks. Prosecutors claim that 13 of the defendants are facing federal criminal charges because they lied about being unemployed while applying for or recertifying their government benefits. The remaining 11 are facing state and possibly federal charges of theft of property of more than $1,000.
One would think that as employees of the IRS, the 24 defendants would be particularly vigilant about upholding any laws that relate to income and tax issues. These 24 people, however, are now facing federal criminal charges and possibly jail time for trying to cheat the system. What this case proves, unfortunately, is that otherwise upstanding citizens can also be enticed into criminal activity where money is involved. Though reports did not specify the exact criminal charges against this particular set of defendants, fraud is commonly associated with these types of cases, and it is likely these crimes will be considered “white collar” crimes. White collar crimes are usually associated with non-violent criminal offenses such as fraud, money laundering, identity theft or even conspiracy and bribery. White collar crimes stand in direct contrast to more violent crimes such as weapons violations, drug crimes, gang crimes and others that have more of a violent physical element.
Dealing with criminal charges is difficult enough at the local or state level, but involving the federal government simply serves to complicate matters even further, as well as put up the possibility of federal prison time. If you are facing federal criminal charges, you must be very careful to have not only an aggressive attorney to defend you, but also one who is qualified to handle federal criminal cases. State and local laws can be complicated, but facing federal charges requires an attorney who is also familiar with federal laws as well as court procedure, which can also differ from procedure in local court rooms. Facing federal charges, however, does not mean that you will necessarily be convicted. The right attorney, with the right qualifications and knowledge, can potentially be the difference between being acquitted and being convicted.
Categorised in: Federal Crimes