Tuesday, November 27, 2012

White Collar Crime, the Salvation Army, and the Holidays

[Salvation Army depiction from wikipedia]
The holidays are here, so, hopefully, that means that there is a lot of "peace and goodwill toward men." But unfortunately, it also generally means that crime is everywhere. too. Just pick up any newspaper or check any news website. It will quickly show you that -- in addition to "joy to the world" -- the holidays also bring a lot of crimes and crime victims to the world, too.

As a former federal prosecutor, I am particularly drawn to news stories about thefts from charities, particularly around Christmas. In other words, as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, here, in Augusta, Georgia, I prosecuted a number of criminal cases, including one involving a former state senator, which dealt with thefts from charities.

One news report which caught my eye today occurred in Toronto, but it could have been anywhere. The reported case involves the alleged theft of approximately $2 million worth of toys from a Salvation Army warehouse by a Salvation Army Executive Director, David Rennie. Of course, all defendants are entitled to their day in court and the burden of proof remains on the prosecution.

But the facts of that single case aren't the point here. The point here is that, while we should all enjoy the holidays, we should also remember that there is a lot of crime "out there" and a lot of innocent crime victims who are suffering at this time of the year.

Maybe we should all put a little extra in the kettle. What do you think?

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