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FBI investigations: 3 areas of corporate fraud

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is tasked with policing instances of corporate fraud throughout the United States. The FBI will gather evidence, perform investigations and arrest individuals they believe have committed or are engaged in supporting various types of white collar or corporate crime.

Here are the three primary areas that the FBI focuses on in this regard:

Fraudulent and counterfeit financial information

Fraudulent accounting and misrepresentations in accounting: Corporations may attempt to "cook their books," or falsify their financial records in order to avoid paying taxes or to misrepresent their financial situations to investors. This is unlawful and the FBI is on constant alert for such behavior.

Stock price manipulation through fraudulent trades: This involves the artificial inflation of a company's value, or the artificial creation of profits to obscure corporate losses.

Illegal transactions: Some corporations engage in unlawful transactions meant to sidestep oversight from regulators.

Corporate insider self-dealing

Insider trading: This happens when someone makes a stock or investment trade based on nonpublic information. For example, a CEO might sell his stock because -- by virtue of his position -- he knows that the stock will soon decline sharply in value. A friend of the CEO might also engage in such insider trading based on nonpublic information received, and it's just as illegal.

Misuse of corporate property: A corporate employee might make use of company property without permission in order to benefit personally.

Tax violations: Some people might use their position in a corporation to unlawfully sidestep taxes.

Mutual fund fraud by fund managers

Late trading: Those in charge of mutual funds might use their positions to manipulate the timing of investment trades unlawfully.

Market timing schemes: There are many schemes that mutual fund managers can employ to profit unlawfully to the detriment of others.

Falsifying net asset values: This fraud can mislead investors and lead to serious losses.

Were you accused of committing a corporate crime?

There are many instances in which a person is wrongfully accused of committing corporate fraud or white collar crimes by virtue of his or her position in a company. However, just because you were accused of such an offense does not mean that you will be found guilty. Indeed, every person facing white collar crime charges will have the opportunity to a criminal defense.

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