Combinations of White-Collar Crime Charges in Chicago
Can I Get Multiple White-Collar Crime Accusations?
Federal white-collar criminal offenses such as fraud, bribery and other
money-related crimes carry serious penalties. Unfortunately, it is common
for defendants to face combinations of white-collar crime charges relative
to each alleged act.
Associated Press discussed what charges, if any, are going to be brought against the Illinois
Speaker of the House of Representatives, the longest-serving House Speaker
in the nation. A recent federal filing concerning a decades-long bribery
scheme supports the popular prediction that the House Speaker
will be charged soon. The federal filing named “Public Official A”
as the target of the scheme and described Public Official A as the “Speaker
of the House of Representatives.”
In the past, federal charges against public officials who participated
in bribery schemes and other corrupt practices have varied but almost
always include multiple charges. Continue reading to view some examples.
Bribery and Tax Fraud Charges
A former Illinois state senator pleaded guilty to
bribery charges in 2020. Bribery can include paying money to a public official in return
for a favor or anything else of value. Because the senator allegedly accepted
money in the bribery scheme and failed to report it as income, he did
not pay federal income taxes on the money and, as a result, allegedly
defrauded the IRS. Thus, federal tax fraud charges were added to his bribery charges.
Tax fraud charges can occur if a defendant accepts money in a bribery scheme
and fails to report it or pays money in a bribery scheme and attempts
to conceal where the money went. Tax fraud defendants often claim payments are
charitable donations or business expenses.
Charges of Offenses, Attempted Offenses and Conspiracy to Commit Offenses
Defendants can be charged with underlying acts,
attempted underlying acts and conspiracy to commit the underlying acts, even if such
acts were not successful. For example, the former Illinois governor who
was convicted of over 20 white-collar criminal offenses in 2011 was charged
with several combinations of offenses surrounding attempts to try to “sell”
an empty U.S. Senate seat.
Additionally, his brother
was charged with wire fraud, extortion conspiracy, attempted extortion and bribery
conspiracy in connection with the former governor’s scheme. Often,
attempted crimes and conspiracy to commit crimes can carry the same penalty as the
Wire and Mail Fraud Charges
It is easy for federal prosecutors to simply “tack on” mail
or wire fraud charges to a range of white-collar crimes. As the
original article points out, wire fraud charges can be added when a phone or other electronic
device is used in furtherance of a crime, which occurs in almost every
instance. The same can be said for mail fraud charges, which can be brought
anytime the postal service or another delivery service (such as UPS or
FedEx) is used in furtherance of a crime.
Wire and mail fraud convictions can carry up to 20 years in prison. However,
if the mail fraud crime is connected to a national disaster or emergency,
or involves a bank or other financial institution, the punishment can
increase to up to 30 years in prison.
Contact an Experienced White-Collar Criminal Defense Attorney in Chicago
If you are under investigation for any federal white-collar crime, you
must have an attorney with experience in federal criminal defense and
Contact attorney Thomas Hallock at (888) 412-3741 or
fill out the online form to discuss your case for free.