A former employee of Florida Atlantic University has been charged with aggravated white collar crime, grand theft, and organized fraud for her alleged actions in 2014, as reported by Fox 13 News. According to law enforcement, the 27-year-old, who worked in the university controller’s office, signed up for classes five times amassing a total cost of $54,000. To pay for these classes, she allegedly wrote $54,000 in fraudulent checks. Then, she cancelled a number of the classes and received a refund of $24,000, which was deposited into her bank account before the university figured out the checks she wrote were bad. The woman had also forged her academic transcripts from a university in Colorado.
White Collar Crimes Are No ‘Slap On The Wrist’
There is a common misconception that white collar crimes carry no serious punishment. While it is true that robbing a convenience store for the $45 in the cash register will likely result in a much more harsh fine, particularly if the defendant used a deadly weapon, than the crime of a someone writing a bad check for 100 times that amount, that does not mean that being charged with a white collar crime is anything to take lightly. Moreover, being charged with aggravated white collar crime is an even more serious endeavor. According to Florida statute 775.0844, aggravated white collar crime means that the defendant is being charged with two or more white collar crimes that “have the same or similar intents, results, accomplices, victims, or methods of commission, or that are otherwise interrelated by distinguishing characteristics and are not isolated incidents.” This statute is designed to penalize those who have a pattern or history of similar white collar crimes, such as writing fraudulent checks.
When Aggravated White Collar Crime is Charged as a First Degree Felony
When a defendant gains or attempts to obtain $50,000 or more by defrauding others, and any of the following criteria is met, they have committed a first degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison:
- 10 or more elderly people are victimized;
- 20 or more people are victimized;
- The state of Florida is victimized, or a state agency, state political subdivision, or any agency of the state’s political subdivisions.
On top of the prison sentence, a convicted felon of aggravated white collar crime may be ordered to pay restitution and the other party’s legal fees. Continued probation of up to 10 years may also be applied, or until the defendant pays restitution, whichever comes first.
Call Our West Palm Beach Law Offices Today
Aggravated white collar crime is a serious offense, and one that could result in decades behind bars and tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars in restitution and legal fees for the other party. To combat these false allegations made against you, you need an experienced legal team at your side. For immediate defense, call the West Palm Beach Skier Law Firm today.