It is not uncommon for people who have fallen into difficult times to take desperate measures. Desperate times sometimes lead to white collar crimes, and they are not restricted to corporate members and big money. A 21-year-old Michigan man was recently arraigned on felony charges after allegedly accepting donations for a phony health scam.
It is alleged that the young man was in possession of a fake doctor's report stating he had leukemia, and that the claims of the fake disease were upheld by a family member who claimed to be a medical doctor. It was reported that the accused man was a much-loved volunteer wrestling coach at a middle school in Howell, and it is alleged that he took advantage of the sympathy of the community. Based on the false leukemia diagnosis, fundraisers were organized to support his cancer treatment.
At one such event, tickets reportedly cost $10 per person, and merchandise such as teddy bears, bracelets and T-shirts were sold. Court documents state that the wrestling coach accepted donations totaling over $8,000. Based on evidence purportedly obtained in the investigation, the man allegedly also molested a teenager over a period of four months. For this, criminal sexual conduct was added to the felony charge of identity theft.
The consequences of a conviction for felony charges can have a lasting impact on the life of a defendant. When an individual in Michigan is charged with white collar crimes, the most appropriate step to take to ensure protection of his or her legal rights is to retain the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney. After assessing the charges and the evidence the prosecution claims to have, a lawyer can advise a client on the best way forward and develop a strategy with an eye on achieving the client's legal goals.
Source: New York Daily News, "Michigan youth wrestling coach faked cancer for money, molested teen: police", Alfred NG, Nov. 11, 2015