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Wisconsin defense attorney, Wisconsin criminal lawyer, Wisconsin white collar crimes attorneyIf you thought working your way up the corporate ladder to a top executive position was difficult enough, you also need to be aware of the need to avoid criminal prosecution. “Stung by years of criticism that it has coddled Wall Street criminals”, the Justice Department issued new policies in the Fall of 2015 that prioritize the prosecution of individual employees — not just their companies — and “puts pressure on corporations to turn over evidence against their executives.”   Currently, there are an estimated 4,500 federal criminal statutes and 300,000 administrative regulations that could lead to criminal charges for company executives and professionals, and the list of white collar and regulatory crimes keeps growing. Equally concerning is how, under some of these statutes, an executive may be charged with a crime she or he did not personally commit and was not even aware of.

Criminal Prosecution of Businesses Going Too Far?

A joint report of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Heritage Foundation “How Congress is Eroding the Criminal Intent Requirement in Federal Law” points out that many regulations criminalize conduct that is not inherently wrongful, sometimes with near strict liability regardless of intent or state of mind.  As a result, “neither criminal law professors nor lawyers who specialize in criminal law can know all the conduct that is criminalized.  Ordinary individuals are at even greater disadvantage.”  Citing the NACDL report, Milwaukee attorney Raymond Dall’Osto said, “Today, everything can be charged as a federal crime.”  In the absence of specific intent elements in the regulatory area, Dall’Osto, an attorney with Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown LLP, said strict liability has become the norm.

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Wisconsin defense attorney, Wisconsin criminal lawyer, Wisconsin white collar crimes attorneyIn today’s technologically savvy world, fraud is more rampant than ever. Foreign “companies” promise products or services that they cannot deliver on. Unsuspecting Americans are pulled into counterfeit fraud. And companies are able to manipulate the markets in order to fool investors and increase their stock. This last offense — otherwise known as spoofing— has only recently seen its very first criminal conviction. As such, many U.S. businesses may be facing increased scrutiny in how they conduct business, making them more susceptible to accusations of fraudulent activity.

Spoofing and the Market

Manipulation of the stock market is not a new concept; companies, both small and large, have been trying to do it for years. For the most part, such actions were largely unsuccessful, but relatively new high-frequency trading tools have made spoofing much easier to do, and with less risk of detection. In fact, the government has had a hard time keeping up with the activity until recently, unsure of how to convict and prove such actions. However, the recent verdict indicates they may have found a way to start analyzing and criminally convicting businesses, in mass.

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Wisconsin defense attorney, Wisconsin criminal lawyer, Wisconsin criminal lawEmbezzlement is considered a white collar crime in the state of Wisconsin. For a non-violent crime, there are rather steep penalties involved, so if you are charged with embezzlement in Wisconsin, you need immediate legal representation.

What Is Embezzlement?

Embezzlement charges are commonly brought in Wisconsin against a former employee accused of stealing from an employer, although embezzlement charges are brought in a host of other situations as well. Embezzlement is a crime that is committed when somebody who was trusted to maintain or manage another person’s property or money steals all or part of what they were entrusted with for personal gain. Embezzlement is a unique crime, as it is a combination of traditional stealing with the requirement that the person alleged to be the embezzler must have been in a position of trust by the victim.

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Wisconsin defense attorney, Wisconsin criminal lawyer, Wisconsin criminal lawForgery is the act of creating, altering, using, or possessing a false document with the intent to defraud someone, and it is considered a white collar crime in Wisconsin. There are many different ways forgery may occur, and the types of documents that might be the subject of a forgery charge vary widely. For example, forgeries can be made on documents such as birth certificates, transcripts, wills, or a bill of sale, or on objects, like membership cards, credit cards, or tickets to travel, that symbolizes some value or serves as a means of identification.

Regardless of the type of document or object at issue in a specific forgery case, in order to secure a conviction, the prosecutor must prove specific factors behind the forgery beyond a reasonable doubt. There are many defenses available that a skilled attorney can advance on your behalf.

Elements of a Forgery Claim

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By Attorney, Christopher Strohbehn

The music industry of the 1990’s has seen a lot of changes as cassette tapes replaced vinyl records and cd’s replaced cassette tapes. However, perhaps the most impactful change of that decade could be contributed to the growing popularity with digital music replacing cd’s, causing the music industry revenue to plummet to an all-time low. In 1999 Napster made its debut as a free online file-sharing service.  While the free downloading service was eventually deemed illegal, in the interim, music sales  took a drastic hit.

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