Consequences are not light for Louisiana defendants convicted of deceiving others for gain. A fraud conviction can generate criminal and civil penalties including long imprisonment, ruinous fines and restitution. White collar crimes may be prosecuted at a state or federal level.
A Baton Rouge business owner recently was arrested and charged with defrauding a Metairie bookkeeping client. The 40-year-old female defendant was accused of stealing more than half a million dollars from playground consultants Dyna-Play. The company used Accurate Bookkeeping Services, the defendant’s company, for three years before financial discrepancies were noticed.
Dyna-Play told Jefferson Parish authorities more than $502,000 meant for company bills was diverted to the defendant. The female bookkeeper reportedly put her own name on checks meant for Dyna-Play’s creditors. A detective learned the bookkeeper kept Dyna-Play in the dark about the funds by altering computer records.
The Denham Springs defendant confessed to investigators she had taken the money to keep herself in business. The woman faces more than five dozen counts of identity theft, theft, monetary instrument abuse, bank fraud and computer fraud. Twenty-five hundred dollars bail was set for each of the 62 counts.
It is not necessary or advisable to wait until fraud charges are filed to retain the services of a criminal defense attorney. A white collar crimes defense lawyer can begin to protect your rights as soon as government investigators make contact, which may occur long before charges are filed. The advice you receive during a financial investigation may prevent you from jeopardizing your legal position, when or if charges follow.
Government probes make many individuals and company officials overwhelmed, hopeless and on the brink of losing everything. Who wouldn’t be unnerved by government investigators rifling through financial records?
Defense attorneys know accusations are not convictions. The government cannot convict you with insufficient evidence of fraud or without showing you had the intention to deceive.
Source: The Advocate, “Bookkeeper booked after $500,000 missing from client account, sheriff’s office reports” Heidi R. Kinchen, Aug. 31, 2014