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Guilty pleas common in white collar crimes case

When a South Carolina community learns of an alleged act of financially motivated, non-violent crime, the response can be severe. This is especially true in cases in which people in positions of trust are accused of white collar crimes. Such is the case in the recent report of three individuals who have made the decision to enter guilty pleas in response to charges of bank fraud and conspiracy.

The case centers primarily on a housing project in Columbia, known as River's Edge. The three men who were accused of wrongdoing have been involved in a business relationship for a number of years. They were alleged to have conspired to make use of independent corporations and false invoices to divert funding from the housing project and into illegal uses.

The men are also expected to testify in the trial of another individual connected to the housing development. That man is a former chairman of the board at South Carolina State University. There is no word on whether the three men accepted a plea deal involving their testimony on that case.

When individuals are charged with various forms of white collar crimes, working out a plea arrangement is sometimes the best available option. In making that determination, one's legal counsel will complete a careful review of any evidence and testimony relating to the South Carolina case in an effort to gauge the strength of the charges faced. In some cases, a plea deal is the best possible outcome, and counsel will work to reach an agreement that minimizes the punitive repercussions of the crime in question.

Source: The State, 3 plead guilty to fraud in connection with Columbia's Village at River's Edge, John Monk, Nov. 6, 2013

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