Following an arrest for a crime, the outcome is far from a foregone conclusion. Depending on a variety of things, including how an accused elects to defend him or herself against the allegations, the end result of the case will vary. Because of this, it is important that someone facing criminal charges of any kind takes steps to create a defense as soon as he or she becomes aware of what is going on. In the best case scenario, action should be taken before charges are even brought, during the investigation phase.
Two professors from the University of Houston are probably working on a defense to charges they face. The men were recently indicted on fraud charges. More specifically the U.S. Department of Justice indicates that they were accused of falsely obtaining somewhere around $1.3 million over a period of 13 years. The money was allegedly taken from a small business program funded by the federal government known as the Small Business Innovation Research program. All told the men face 29 counts of the following:
- Making false statements
- Wire fraud
Despite having been awarded contracts and grants for the business they started, the men are accused of sending applications and letters that were fraudulent to the SBIR. The fraudulent information included in these requests allegedly regarded costs, materials, equipment and facilities.
While there could be a legitimate reason behind many actions, this is particularly true where white collar crimes are concerned. In business situations involving the exchange of money where copious rules are involved, it is possible that someone might mistakenly do something illegal, without realizing it. The attorney for one of the professors indicated something like this is to blame for the situation. Specifically, he claims it is the result of poor accounting.
How this case will be resolved remains to be seen.
Source: Houston Business Journal, “Two University of Houston professors indicted on fraud charges,” Josh Cain, April 29, 2014