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Different types of Crimes

Identify the type of crime committed in each of the following examples. Indicate if the crime is a misdemeanor, or a felony. You will do much of the research for any felonies. Explain which cases you will research, as a result. Will you have a heavy or light research load these next months?

Three securities brokers agree in a conversation to aggressively sell a certain stock and then sell their own shares at a profit after the share price increases to a certain dollar value. However, one of the brokers later decides not to go along with the plan. Is this broker guilty of a crime?

*** From my research I would feel that the two gentlemen could be charged with insider trading which I think is a felony - "is sale of legitimate stock by a broker who conceals information about his or her own involvement with the brokerage company. These acts are prohibited by rules established by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Insider trading prosecutions have been some of the most publicized white collar prosecutions of the 1980s and 1990s. Surprisingly, "insider trading" is not defined in any specific statute; it is a term used to describe insiders (such as officers of a corporation) taking unfair advantage of information to make money or avoid losing money in securities. Generally, insider trading means that an insider with material, non-public information engages in trading without disclosing that information to the public first. These crimes typically are prosecuted under the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934. However, prosecutors are not confined to using specific securities fraud statutes to prosecute securities fraud. General anti-fraud statutes may be used instead of, or in addition to, specific securities fraud laws. For example, parties engaged in securities fraud may be charged with violating mail and wire fraud statutes."http://www.ittc.ku.edu/~sgauch/767/files/380.html#250

However, the third party did not actually commit the act thus I think he could be charged with conspiracy and I think this is also a felony- "The law of conspiracy and the law of aiding and abetting are other general doctrines that apply to a wide range of offenses. A conspiracy is an agreement between two or more persons to commit a crime. For example, if three people conspire to commit murder, at least one of them takes action to further the conspiracy, and the murder actually occurs, they all can be charged with both conspiracy and murder. Even if a conspirator backs out of the conspiracy, but the other conspirators commit the crime, all conspirators may be criminally liable if the acts were reasonably foreseeable." http://www.ittc.ku.edu/~sgauch/767/files/380.html#250

However, this was an oral and not a written agreement so I am unsure as he may be able to dispute his involvement within a court of law.

An executive submits fictitious invoices from a shell company, which are paid.

Now this I am confused - I at first thought it was embezzlement which is a felony - then it can be considered fraud which I think is also a felony - but also can be considered money laundering and this is also a felony I think. Thus, I it would be a felony no matter which but I am just confused which one. For instance, I found a case which was similiar - http://cleveland.fbi.gov/dojpressrel/2006/moneylaundering033006.htm

An employee sells a customer list to a competitor.

Now this I just have no idea - I found a case where something similiar occurred but was not able to determine the charge - http://money.cnn.com/2004/06/23/technology/aol_spam/

Solution Preview

STEP 1

First a correction, three brokers do not agree to aggressively sell a certain stock but they agree to aggressively buy a certain stock. Only then the prices will go up and they will be able to sell off their personal stocks at a higher price. This is exactly how 'bull' cartels operate.

A felony or misdemeanor:

A felony is usually a serious crime like murder, rape, burglary and aggravated assault. However, currently the trend is to describe as a felony a crime that is punishable by at least one year in prison. So, to classify a felony we should first determine if the action is actually a crime, then we need to ascertain if it is punishable by a sentence of more than one year. Any crime less serious than that is a misdemeanor.

STEP 2

A Conspiracy?

If two or more people plan a crime there is conspiracy. The crime need not be committed for there to be a conspiracy. There need not be a written agreement or record. Simply the act of talking together and agreement means there is a conspiracy. The act of clandestinely plotting together an unlawful act is a conspiracy.
In our case one of the brokers backed out, he may have even repented, however, this does not absolve him of the crime but his behavior would bring about a much lower sentence than what his partners would get.

In addition, even if the agreement is to achieve a legal end through illegal actions, it is still a conspiracy. In effect the three brokers are all involved in the conspiracy.

Most importantly, the law is clear that the agreement to do an illegal act is sufficient to prove conspiracy. There is no need to prove if each of the brokers was interested in committing the crime.

The following has been taken from the website:

"S1(1) Criminal Law Act 1977

"...if a person agrees with any other person or persons that a course of conduct shall be pursued which, if the agreement is carried out in accordance with their intentions, either -
(a) will necessarily amount to or involve the commission of any offence or offences by one or more of the parties to the agreement, or
(b) would do so but for the existence of facts which render the commission of the offence or any of the offences impossible, [added by S.5 Criminal ...

Solution Summary

Different types of crimes are discussed in great detail in this solution.

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