Being charged with a white collar crime can lead to serious consequences to a person's life. Fortunately, every person charged with committing a criminal offense has the right to be presumed innocent until and only if government officials can present enough evidence in court to prove them guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. That is a high burden of proof for Ohio prosecutors to achieve, and rightly so. Not every person who is charged with a criminal allegation has actually committed the crime of which they are accused.
Recently, Ohio officials charged an investment broker with the criminal offense of bribery in relation to gifts and kickbacks he allegedly showered upon a former labor executive. They further maintain that those alleged kickbacks paved the way for the other man to confer millions of dollars in consultant business and investment funds in return. These criminal allegations have been set out in a charging document called a criminal information.
A criminal information can mean that a person intends to plead guilty to the charges made against them, but that is not always the case. Every accused person has the right to mount a vigorous criminal defense at trial. The burden of proof does, after all, rest upon the government and not the individual accused of criminal wrongdoing.
In this specific case, the investment broker faces two criminal offense charges. One of the charges is a count of influencing the operations of an employee benefit plan, and the second count is conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. Ohio prosecutors must now provide clear evidence at trial that the man committed the crimes he is accused of committing. Failure to overcome the high level of proof facing them will mean that a criminal conviction cannot be achieved.
Source: Cleveland.com, "Investment broker charged with bribing Robert Peto, former carpenter's union executive," James F. McCarty, Sept. 25, 2012