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White collar crimes case crosses international borders

A U.S. District Court judge sitting in North Dakota recently handed down a ruling regarding a woman's request to suppress evidence in a case involving criminal charges against her. She is accused of white collar crimes, more specifically, of operating a fraudulent lottery scheme while working as a customer service rep for Delta Air Lines. The judge denied her request.

The woman says her rights were violated three years ago when she was interrogated by officials in the United States and Jamaica regarding the allegations against her. She said she was questioned without benefit of legal representation in both countries. She also told the court that her rights that protect her against self-incrimination were also violated.

An investigation first unfolded when Jamaican authorities claimed the woman traveled to their country with $15,000 in her purse that she didn't register with customs officials. Prosecutors argued that the protections provided by the U.S. Constitution do not apply in other countries. A defense attorney countered, asserting there is ample evidence to show that authorities indeed violated his client's rights, especially in their mishandling of the investigation process.

The penalties for white collar crimes can be quite severe if, but only if, convictions are obtained in court. In the case mentioned earlier, a total of 27 people wound up facing fraud, money laundering and conspiracy charges. As with any person in North Dakota accused of such crimes, each will have his or her day in court to present as strong a defense as possible in the hope of avoiding conviction.

Source: U.S. News & World Report, "Judge Refuses to Suppress Lottery Scam Suspect's Statements", Blake Nicholson, April 19, 2018

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