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Former loan officer arrested for defrauding clients


White-collar crime covers a broad category of criminal activities. In general, what unifies white-collar crime is that the perpetrators or suspects are professionals who use deceit or fraud for financial gains through illegal means. Common types of white-collar crime include tax fraud, insider trading and embezzlement. California readers may have read about a high school football couth facing white-collar criminal charges.

It was recently reported that an assistant high school football coach in Atwater, California is facing more than 24 fraud charges stemming from his time as a loan officer. Prosecutors claim the coach stole more than $13,000 by having borrowers write checks for appraisal fees and asking that they leave the payee portion blank until an appraisal company was selected. Investigators say he would then cash the checks.

The fraud allegedly involved dozens of clients between August 2011 and January 2013, while the man was working for International City Mortgage. Investigators claim that they have identified nearly 30 suspected victims in the case with a collective financial loss of $13,688. The 63-year-old pled not guilty to two felony counts of embezzlement and 23 misdemeanor counts of fraud. He is currently out on bond awaiting trial.

While people have scoffed at the penalties associated with white-collar crime in the past, a series of recent high-profile cases demonstrate just how serious federal and state authorities now take white-collar crimes. Individuals charged white-collar crimes such as real estate fraud and embezzlement not only face hefty financial penalties including restitution but also long prison terms and serious professional damage.

Source: Merced Sun-Star, "Atwater assistant football coach pleads not guilty to embezzlement and real estate fraud charges," Rob Parsons, Oct. 22, 2013

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