The state has dropped fraud charges against the owner of a Missouri cattle plant. The man reportedly opened the plant in Bates County in 2010, and within a year the business was closed. In 2012 the defendant was charged with multiple counts of fraud in connection with the defunct plant, but he claimed that he was defrauded by the previous owner.
Specifically, the defendant said he was misled by the previous owner with regard to the conditions of the plant and its status with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. State investigators were also misled by the previous owner, according to the defendant.
Three years later, after reassessing its case, the prosecution dropped the charges.
Not everyone accused of white collar crime is guilty. In particularly complex cases involving allegations of financial crime and fraud, honest mistakes and misunderstandings can lead to criminal charges. From a defense perspective, the key is to investigate the facts and develop an effective theory of why the prosecution has no basis for a conviction.
In some cases, early intervention from a defense attorney makes it possible to prevent charges from even being filed. In other cases, charges may be dropped before the case goes to court, or a trial may be necessary to challenge the prosecution's assertions. One thing is certain: if you have been accused of fraud, then you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side as soon as possible.
If you would like to learn more about defending against charges of fraud, please see Sindel, Sindel & Noble's white collar crime overview.