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When there are allegations of corporate crime, it can expand beyond the home location of the individual or company that is facing the scrutiny. For example, a person in Virginia could end up being engulfed in a slew of white collar crime charges that might have emanated elsewhere in the United States or throughout the world. This is why when financial transactions are being investigated and arrests are made, it is imperative to have legal assistance with formulating a defense if there is even the hint of getting caught up in the case.

A high-profile and widely disparaged pharmaceutical entrepreneur and investor was arrested for taking money from one of his businesses and using it to pay off former clients of a hedge fund that had lost money. Martin Shkreli came into the public eye with his prominent presence on social media and decision to increase the prices of drugs he had gained control of, but this arrest is based on what the U.S. Attorney referred to as a Ponzi scheme.

Shkreli is accused of having failed in his hedge fund business and hiding the losses by paying millions to his customers from his former pharmaceutical company. Also arrested was his attorney. When brought before the judge, Shkreli issued a plea of not guilty to numerous counts related to alleged white collar crimes. He is accused of lying to his investors, failing to have the proper oversight and not disclosing that his fund was losing money. According to the indictment, Shkreli used more than $11 million to reimburse investors in the failed hedge fund. The investigation is believed to have begun in November of 2012.

Some white collar cases are lacking in clear-cut evidence or are part of prosecutorial overreach. In others, those charged are simply caught in the middle of a case they had little or no involvement in. While this is a well-known case that has many saying that Shkreli deserves what he is getting, the fact is that everyone who is confronted with charges and penalties linked to white collar crime charges is entitled to a presumption of innocence. Whether it's a well-known person or someone who is more under-the-radar, the first call that should be made when dealing with allegations of corporate crime is to speak to an experienced attorney.

Source: Wall Street Journal, "Martin Shkreli, Pharma Executive, Arrested on Fraud Charges," Christopher M. Matthews, Rob Copeland and Rebecca Davis O'Brien, Dec. 17, 2015

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