Utah Case In The News Demonstrates Variety of White Collar Crimes

Recent state and federal court appearances by a man charged with crimes ranging from burglary to embezzlement serve as an illustration of the remarkable variety of white collar crimes defended by attorneys practicing in criminal law.

Jeffrey Zander had worked for the Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah since 1998, initially as a planner and later as economic development director. In January, he was charged in federal court with an embezzlement scheme while assisting the tribe in obtaining federal grant money.

Zander is accused of using companies that he owned as consultants for the preparation of federal grants called Integrated Resource Management Plans. He then purportedly billed the tribe for the companies’ services, and deposited the money into his own bank account. He faces 22 counts of embezzlement, and because he is charged with theft from a program receiving federal funds, a federal court will hear his case. Other federal charges include one count of money laundering and three counts of failure to file income taxes.

Defendant Also Faces State Burglary, Forgery Charges

Zander also faces charges in state court of burglary of the offices of the Paiute tribe, as well as state charges of forgery involving a stolen checkbook belonging to his wife’s ex-husband.

While it is unknown whether all the charges against Mr. Zander are related, they demonstrate that often when an executive has a fiduciary duty – that is, a duty to look after the best interests of the organization – many types of crimes may be alleged. For instance, a burglary charge could stem from a visit by the executive to the office when he thought he was still allowed on the premises. (It should be noted that Greg Smith & Associates is not participating in the criminal defense of Mr. Zander.)

Sometimes contract disputes or employment problems lead one party to accuse the other of fraud, embezzlement, or other crimes related to financial transactions. In other cases, white-collar crimes may be the symptom of a life spiraling out of control due to substance abuse or other personal matters. Regardless of how the accusations arose, because professional reputation is so important in business, anyone facing criminal charges of this nature needs a defense attorney who is experienced in defending white-collar crime.

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