Philadelphia Criminal Law News

Fraud / White Collar Crime in Philadelphia

With the recent downturn in the economy and the increase in scrutiny of the financial sector, fraud and white collar crimes have become a hot topic as the impact of financial crimes trickles down. White collar crimes generally describe non-violent criminal activity in the commercial or business sectors that typically involve deceit and are motivated by financial gain. Fraud and white collar crime can also be committed by both individuals and corporations and can be governed by both state and federal laws.

The intricacies of fraud and white collar crime are usually best handled by experienced Philadelphia criminal attorneys. If you have been charged with one of the offenses mentioned above, you should consult a Philadelphia criminal defense attorney to strategize the best plan of legal action.

Recently in Fraud / White Collar Crime Category

Murder Wave Hits Philly Over the Weekend

Philadelphia has seen a wave of homicides in recent days, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Seven people died over the weekend, writes The Inquirer. Including these were two bodies found in a house on the 1700 block of Erie Avenue in Tioga. David Williams, 23, was arrested in connection with both of those killings. One of these bodies was identified as Anthony Hicks and the other body has yet to be identified.

According to police reports, Hicks was shot in the head. The other man found on the second floor of the house was found with gunshot wounds to the chest and head.

Ex-Court Employee To Pay Back $433K in Stolen Funds

This crime story comes out of Philadelphia courts. But it’s actually the courts that are involved in a crime.

Rather, it’s the court that was the victim in this tale of theft.

William Rullo, a veteran Philadelphia court procurement worker, was found to be stealing funds from the courts, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer.

During his 10-year tenure at the courthouse, he allegedly stole $433,000 in court funds.

Lottery Fraud: 2 Syracuse Brothers Arrested for $5M Scam

This might be out of nearby New York state, but the story was so amazing that it makes for the perfect story for the mid-week blues.

Two brothers in New York were arrested for lottery fraud, reports Good Morning America.

Well, there’s no real crime called “lottery fraud” but you get the idea. They lied to claim $5 million in lottery winnings. In actuality, lottery fraud could mean a whole host of things. For this story, it refers to cheating someone out of their lottery winnings.

Woman Gets 3 Years for Fraud, Steals Dead Grandma's Checks

It might sound like a victim-less crime to collect checks from the government on behalf of a deceased person, but law enforcement officials take this act quite seriously.

It is, after all, a crime.

And the name of the crime is "fraud."

A 60-year-old Philadelphia woman learned that lesson this week, when she was sentenced on Monday for stealing $222,000 in government issued checks to her dead grandma, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer.

PA Taxpayers Paying for Corrupt Politicians' Legal Fees: Report

Pennsylvania law seems to cut some slack for politicians who screw up. Specifically, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that politicians accused of corruption can hire lawyers at taxpayers' expense.

Prior to 1996, these politicians didn't even have to pay the funds back upon conviction. But the law was changed that year, and now politicians convicted of corruption are supposed to reimburse the treasury for their legal fees.

Those fees have added up to $15 million over the last five years alone, the Inquirer reports. But for the most part, the convicted politicians have not been forced to reimburse the state.

Pennsylvania Voter ID Law Blocked, But Appeal Is Possible

A judge has blocked Pennsylvania's voter ID law from taking effect in time for the upcoming election, reports The Washington Post. But an appeal is possible.

The controversial law requires Pennsylvania voters to show valid photo identification at the polls. Those who were in favor of the law said that it was a necessary measure to prevent fraud at the polls, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Bucks County Police Officer Allegedly Fakes Getting Shot

In a strange twist that still has not been explained, a local police officer allegdly faked getting shot. Usually, this type of activity would be based on trying to cover up a murder by an officer, or to recover insurance money, neither of which has yet come to light. There was no victim at the scene, so we can cross off the murder reasoning, but what could have triggered this incident?

On Monday, Chalfont Borough Police Officer Jon Cousin reported that he had been shot during a traffic stop. The officer was taken to a hospital and then released, according to Channel 6 Action News. Other officers set up a road block to find the alleged shooter, but no car fitting the description given by Cousin was ever found, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

There were other clues that Cousin was allegedly fabricating his story: Police found bullet casings, but only from Cousin's weapon; there was no evidence another car had ever been at the scene; and Cousin showed no bruising where he'd allegedly been shot, according to Action News. In fact, the only bullet in Cousin's bulletproof vest allegedly came from Cousin's personally owned firearm.

So what crimes has Cousin allegedly committed with his strange actions?

Dr. Joseph J. Kubacki Sentenced for Temple Med Fraud

Dr. Joseph J. Kubacki, an assistant dean of medical affairs and chairman of the ophthalmology department, and who was accused of illegal billing and for falsifying charts, was sentenced to seven years in prison for the Temple Med fraud, reports Philadelphia Daily News. In total he was accused of 150 counts of health care fraud and related fraud.

At the hearing where he received his sentence, Dr. Kubacki explained the Temple Med fraud by saying that he wasn't motivated by greed; instead he was trying to save the departments he oversaw. His fraudulent billing scheme lasted about eight years.

Freddie Mitchell Accused of Tax Fraud Scheme

Former Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Freddie Mitchell's claims to fame were one catch he made in the playoffs against the Packers in 2004 and his close personal friendship with the actor who played Steve Urkel. Now FredEx has been linked to a tax fraud scheme, and he could be imprisoned for a very long time if convicted.

The Freddie Mitchell tax fraud scheme alleges that the former football player recruited professional athletes to have their taxes prepared by a business run by Jamie Russ-Walls and Richard Walls of Bensalem, reports the Philadelphia Daily News.

State Representative Bill DeWeese Guilty of Theft and Conspiracy

A Dauphin County jury found state Representative Bill DeWeese guilty of charges that he illegally used his legislative staff to perform his campaign work. DeWeese was found guilty on five of six counts of theft, conspiracy, and conflict of interest.

It’s not clear if DeWeese will face any prison time, but the state representative has vowed that he will continue his reelection bid and said that he would be exonerated in the court of public opinion, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer. It wasn’t reported if a convicted felon is capable of holding public office.