Talking about white-collar criminal charges often conjures images of a sneaky accountant who embezzled from their employer for years or a business owner fraudulently manipulating investors to trick them into partnering with their company. The professionals involved could end up arrested over fraud and embezzlement allegations, and such cases are often high-profile.
However, there are other, less dramatic white-collar criminal offenses that you might unintentionally commit at your job. A recent criminal case involving a construction company executive highlights how seemingly innocent business practices could lead to very serious criminal accusations.
Seeking to profit from transactions can lead to charges
Although many professionals are constantly on the lookout for ways to increase what they earn, they can sometimes break the law in the pursuit of capital. A construction company executive and a window company manager allegedly cooperated with one another to manipulate the bidding process on a new construction project, and their cooperation has resulted in charges against them both.
The building was a replacement for a previous facility destroyed in a 2018 tornado, and the new building represented a massive project and investment. The state alleges that the two parties worked together to ensure that the window company would receive the contract.
Although there were other companies that offered more affordable bids, the construction company chose the specific window company it did because of the opportunity for a kickback. A kickback is essentially a commission to a third party for assisting in or facilitating a sale, but the term does have criminal connotations.
Kickbacks in the medical industry are often a warning sign of corruption and a violation of federal statutes. In this case, the charges the defendants face specifically relate to allegations of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
This can be a lesson for ambitious professionals
There are appropriate and legal ways to arrange new contracts for your business and work with the companies that you would prefer to employ, and then there are seemingly clever ideas that actually violate the law.
As a white-collar professional, the more money you manage and the bigger the projects you oversee, the more likely you are to face scrutiny of your decisions by others, including those who are unhappy because they lost out on a contract. Learning more about business decisions that lead to white-collar criminal charges could help you avoid such charges yourself.