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"SC gangs evolving, switching to white collar crime, officials say"

August 10, 2016

Members of Nexsen Pruet's White Collar Criminal Defense team read with great interest news published by Columbia newspaper The State this week.

Reporter Cynthia Roldán authored the report entitled "SC gangs evolving, switching to white collar crime, officials say." She examined how "South Carolina’s gangs look different today and are focusing more on white collar crime like tax fraud and human trafficking."

An excerpt:

They are moving away from dealing drugs and weapons in favor of white-collar crime, such as counterfeit money, credit card fraud, tax fraud and human trafficking, Captain Vincent Goggins, head of the Midlands Gange Task Force, said on Monday.

Milder sentences for those crimes are part of the reason, he said. 

“Gang members know that if they commit white-collar crimes, the sentencing will likely not be as large as if they committed crimes of weapons or drugs or things of that nature,” Goggins said. “If you get caught selling 3 crack rocks…you might spent 15 to 20 years in prison. If you get caught with $100,000 of counterfeit cash, you may spend six months.”

Read the complete article from The State.

The Bottom Line

With increased focus on white collar crime by South Carolina law enforcement, expect more white collar investigations and prosecutions of gang members and non-gang members alike across the state.

Nexsen Pruet’s White Collar Criminal Defense team provides advice and counsel to business leaders and individuals who find themselves as the target of investigation, at both the Federal or State levels.  Led by Billy Wilkins, former Chief Judge of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, the team has a dozen lawyers and includes former prosecutors Mark Moore, Dan Boyce & James Galyean.