It may sound frightening, but anyone can find themselves subject of a criminal investigation simply by being at the wrong place, at the wrong time and surrounded by the wrong circumstances. Though this can apply to any criminal offense, it is often particularly true for those accused of white collar crimes, which are those offenses involving finances. One California man may be finding this out firsthand after being taken into custody for alleged computer fraud.
Authorities claim the accused, a gas station manager who has since been fired, cheated patrons by tampering with scratch-off lottery tickets so that only losing tickets were sold. Police say customers noticed small scratches made by a pin, which allegedly allowed the accused to distinguish winners from losers. Losses are claimed to be in the realm of $300.
This man now faces five felony fraud charges. If convicted, he could face significant penalties, including prison and fines. Additionally, the accused lost his job as a direct result of the allegations. It may be difficult for him to recover from his damaged reputation, and the legal battle ahead of him may be difficult to face.
In these situations, an aggressive criminal defense is necessary. It is often important for anyone facing white collar offenses to put forth as strong of a criminal defense as is possible under the circumstances. This could include negotiating with prosecutors or fighting the charges in court. Hopefully, this will allow the accused individual to reach a fair resolution to his or her matter and avoid the harshest of penalties.
Source: KTVU News, "Former gas station manager accused in lottery scratcher scam," Jana Katsuyama, Jan. 12, 2014