Hey, anybody out there remember Boston’s own Eliezer Gonzalez?
Mr. Gonzalez, formerly a Boston police officer and hereinafter the “Defendant” has brought to a close his federal criminal case. His case involved white collar crime.
The Defendant was accused of faking injuries and fraudulently collecting injury leave pay. According to federal prosecutors, the defendant had collected about $173,000 in injury leave pay and had filed for accidental disability retirement after supposedly suffering on-the-job injuries in 2007.
Unfortunately for the Defendant, he was seen going to the L Street Bathhouse, salsa dancing, and traveling abroad without difficulty during said leave.
And so it was that the Defendant found him charged with fraud. Yesterday, he received a year and three months in federal prison after pleading guilty to 34 counts of mail fraud.
White collar crimes are crimes which involve unlawful, nonviolent conduct committed by business and government professionals. These crimes involve fraud, theft or other violations of trust committed in the course of one’s employment. These crimes can also be brought on behalf of various agencies in which subscribers or others in a contractual relationship commit such fraudulent acts.
For example, insurance fraud is a white collar crime, as is making false claims in banking transactions (usually referred to as “bank fraud”).
Often, these cases are prosecuted in federal court because the federal government has jurisdiction over banks, insurance and other such agencies…especially the mail service.
Usually, the transmission of information via the mail service is used in these alleged schemes and so they are prosecuted as “mail fraud”. That’s right, simply by mailing the fraudulent paper to someone, you are committing mail fraud.
Now, as more people use the web for such things, we are seeing more incidents of what are called “wire fraud” or “Cyber-fraud”. In any event, in these are considered. Massachusetts cyber crime and, again, may be prosecuted by the federal system or the Commonwealth.
In this case, the Defendant has pleaded guilty to several counts of mail fraud involving an insurance or employment fraud. As we have discussed before, sentencing in federal court is much different than in state court. However, the government and the defense can always come to an agreement to settle such a matter. As long as it is within the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the judge will usually go along with it.
Gone are the days that white collar matters are simply treated with a slap on the wrist and the label of “naughty”. Particularly in his line of work, prison time and these criminal convictions are big deals to the Defendant. Especially since one would imagine that he has never either been convicted of a crime or served prison time before.
How do you increase your chances of getting as decent a deal as you can get…should you want to go that way? You guessed it…an experienced criminal defense attorney. In this case, one who has federal experience.
If you would like to discuss such a matter with me, please feel free to call me at 617-492-3000 to arrange a free initial consultation..
To view the article upon which this blog is based, please go to http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2011/06/07/former_officer_sentenced_to_15_months/