What do former Speaker of the House and FIFA brass have in common? Before this week very little. Now both stand accused of serious white collar offenses that could put them in federal prison for many years.
Dennis Hastert was indicted by a federal grand jury in Chicago for bank fraud and lying to federal agents. Federal law requires that cash deposits or withdrawals over $10,000 be reported to the IRS. This regulation was created under the guise of the Patriot Act and to thwart terrorism. And while the former Congressman is no terrorist, he allegedly committed a white collar crime by structuring transactions – that is, making multiple withdrawals below $10,000 in order to evade bank reporting requirements.
To make matters worse, Hastert committed another white collar crime when he lied to federal agents who were investigating him after the large amounts of his withdrawals raised red flags. Hastert told agents that he was simply keeping the cash. Turns out that he was getting extorted to make payment to an individual who threatened to make Hastert’s past misconduct public. While extortion is, in and of itself a white collar crime, that individual likely cooperated with the government to get the bigger fish.
Also this week, Swiss officials executed a number of warrants at FIFA’s offices in Zurich. This was done in conjunction with indictments brought in federal court in New York charging various FIFA officials with white collar crimes such as bribery and money laundering. The indictment alleges that large sums of money were paid under the table and through offshore accounts in order to gain preference for World Cup venue.
While Hastert may not be a soccer fan, and FIFA officials may not even know who Hastert is, they share the common bond of being charged with white collar crimes. Criminal defense attorneys who are highly experienced in white collar defense will undoubtedly represent them in cases that will likely take years to play out to their conclusion.
Contact our Phoenix criminal defense lawyer Jason D. Lamm for more information about white collar crimes and defense strategies.