Convention Teaches Latest in White Collar Crimes - 8 News NOW

Convention Teaches Latest in White Collar Crimes

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LAS VEGAS -- White collar crimes, such as medical fraud, identity theft and mortgage fraud, can cost the public and Nevada millions of dollars.

A convention is under way in Las Vegas to educate legal experts about the latest in white collar criminal enforcement.

Many white collar crimes happen on a computer or involve a great deal of technology.

At this convention, lawyers and government agencies are being armed with the tools they need to win a case.

For 37 years, the American Bar Association has hosted the National Institute of White Collar Crimes. Lawyers and government enforcement agencies tackle topics including fraud, money laundering and identify theft in panel discussions.

Local attorney Dominic Gentile talked about the role jurors play in winning a case.

"We share information in terms of techniques strategies, new technology that is available, … jury selection," he said.

Some of that new technology deals with researching jurors through online resources or studying juror trends by using consultants or performing mock trials.

According to the United States Attorney's Office, white collar crimes accounted for 12 percent of the crimes in Nevada's district last year.

Some even involved the latest high tech gadgets.

"They tend to follow technology, so in the last 10,15 years, you've seen more allegations of fraud being committed with computers and the Internet, for example," he said.

In 2012, federal charges were brought against 53 people for identity fraud or identity theft crimes in Nevada, a 150 percent increase compared to the year before.

Mortgage and health fraud also cost the state millions last year.

Legal experts said the information they learned today can mean the difference of winning or losing a case.

"Oftentimes, people who have been on opposite sides of the same case, they come here to teach others who operate in this area of white collar criminal enforcement," said William Shepherd, an attorney for law firm Holland & Knight and chair of the American Bar Association's Criminal Justice Section.

The convention launched with only a few dozen people. Today the enrollment gets into the thousands with legal experts from all around the U.S.

The convention ends Friday.

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