Individuals charged with any type of crime face the possibility of convictions that can result in long-term legal consequences. Crimes involving bribery are often classified as white collar crime and can carry with them significant fines as well as extensive jail time.

Readers in Bloomfield Hills may have heard of the recent conviction of a man who had attempted to falsify documents to cover up a pay-to-play scheme in the Wayne County administration. The man was found guilty of multiple counts of falsifying documents by a federal jury on Feb. 19 after an eight-day trial. He was, however, found not guilty on two other separate charges.

The defendant had initially been charged after investigators discovered that a software company had been paying bribes to a former Wayne County chief information officer to receive government contracts. The former CIO pleaded guilty to charges of accepting bribery in July 2012. As part of his plea deal, the officer agreed to cooperate with investigations into corruption in Wayne County in exchange for reduced legal penalties. The most recent defendant is now looking at a possible fine for each charge of falsifying documents of up to $250,000, as well as possibly receiving up to 20 years in prison.

A conviction for a white collar crime carries with it harsh legal penalties that can involve significant monetary fines as well as prison time. It is important that those facing white collar crime charges be aware of their legal options. A well-prepared defense may be able to mitigate any penalties stemming from a conviction.

Source: MLive, "Wayne County Ficano administration employee convicted in bribery coverup," Gus Burns, Feb. 19, 2013