When facing criminal charges, many people feel unprepared to make the decisions that will likely have a significant impact on the rest of their lives. In fact, six men in Missouri who recently pleaded guilty to charges related to a fraud case likely felt unsure about their options at the beginning of the criminal justice process. Fortunately, there are experienced professionals who can help in similar circumstances.
The case involves employees of a public works department in Missouri. According to reports, part of the men’s job responsibilities include repairing essential signs (such as yield or stop signs) that were damaged or down. However, prosecutors say that the men would call in reports themselves (or have friends or family call) of signs needing repair on the weekends or during evening hours and submit time sheets for the repairs.
In some cases when there actually were damaged signs, they were allegedly not repaired until the next work day. Of the callouts that happened between Aug. 2016 to Nov. 2016, a majority of them were reportedly determined to be fraudulent. The men are believed to have collected $58,000 in overtime pay from Jan. 2013 to Nov. 2016.
Three of the men pleaded guilty to fraud charges in mid-February; three others had previously pleaded guilty. Unfortunately, cases involving white collar crimes can be complicated and can often have serious consequences upon conviction. As such, defendants in such in Missouri sometimes come to the conclusion — upon the advice of an attorney representing their interests — that there is sufficient evidence to convict them, prompting them to plead guilty, typically as part of a plea agreement that includes reduced charges and/or favorable sentencing considerations.