The White Collar Criminal

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Taking advantage Of the Unfortunate

SERVING TIME, a common term now utilized in American society today. While when saying this term you can imagine a person in prison, serving time for an offense they have committed, we never stop to think that the offenders’ family is involved in this long process as well. The offender paying for his/her offense and the rules they follow while under the jurisdiction of the correctional system inherently affects the sons, daughters, wives, husbands, mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters of those incarcerated. Prison families must learn to deal with the absence of their loved one and stay in contact with them through whatever means available. Due to low income and lack of transportation for most of the offenders’ family, they (offender’s family) are unable to make regular visits to the incarceration facility their loved ones are serving time in. Most of the time because of the lack of these resources these families have to resort to accepting collect calls from the person in prison in order to maintain a connection with family members.
According to the NYS Department of Correctional Services (DOCS), as of February 1, 2006 the current population under custody, within New York State, is 63,040. This means that DOCS has to provide resources for inmate/family contact because a large number of the prisoner’s use collect calls to contact their families, then DOCS needs a telephone provider to make this contact possible. The telephone company that provides this service is MCI (which has recently merged with Verizon); this telephone company has a contract with New York Department of Correctional Services since 1996 and gives MCI exclusive control of prison phone service to the entire correctional system of New York State. The terms of the contract between MCI and DOCS give the NYS Department of Correctional Services a 57.5% kickback which amounts to more then $20 million a year. In 2002, the Center for Constitutional Rights based out of Manhattan reported an annual kickback of $22.4 million for DOCS.
MCI charges families who take phone calls from New York state prisons $3 to connect and 16 cents per minute; a 20 minute call costs prison families $6. This is the highest rate charged in America for prison phone service, New York Campaign for Telephone Justice (NYCTJ) as the main lobbyist against the exploitive phone program has reported the charge to prison families for collect calls is 360% more than the regular price for the rest of the country. NYCTJ also reports that NYS Department of Correctional Services has made $175 million since 1996, when the contract with MCI first came into effect.
The New York State Campaign for Telephone Justice (NYSCTJ) was developed by the Center for Constitutional Rights, in partnership with Fifth Avenue Committee’s Prison Families Community Forum and Prison Families of New York, Inc. As mentioned above NYCTJ is the main lobbyist group fighting to end the contract between MCI/Verizon and the New York Sate Department of Correctional Services. This organization lobbies for adjustments in the excessive phone service charges to prison families thus giving the families of prisoners a more fair and affordable service. For further info on Telephone Justice you can visit NYCSTJ’s wed site at or request information from Prison Families of New York, Inc. by calling (518) 453-6669 or sending an e-mail to .
In conclusion...Our system of corrections was built for the sole purpose of punishing all people who deviate from societal norms and break the laws that govern our nation, thus becoming criminals. The offender alone is the one that must pay for his/her offense; for it was the offender alone that broke the law which led to his/her incarceration; therefore the family of the offender must in no way be punished for the misdeed of their loved one. It is unjust to overcharge prison families for prison telephone service, this overpricing by MCI is affecting prison families economically and the NYS Department of Correctional Service is supporting and benefiting from this unfair punishment. This overcharging by MCI must stop; besides suffering for the absence of their loved one in prison/jail a family should not have to go through any additional hardships. A family member of a prisoner should, without any impediment, be able to have telephone contact with the loved one incarcerated and be charged a standard rate.

-Cuauhtémoc El Emperador Azteca

The Victim Admiring the Criminal

White collar crime is responsible for about 90 percent of the financial losses of American’s taxpayers. These loses are in the billions of dollars and are stolen right under the U.S. governments nose. Who would dare steal from the humble taxpayers of America? The masterminds of these lucrative crimes are the smartest criminals known to the criminal justice system, these criminals are so smart that they can scheme hundreds of middle class Americans out of their money and they will do so without attracting any suspicion or any notice from their victims. These criminals don’t use guns or any from of violence; all they have are degrees from the most prominent universities of the U.S. and close relationships with the men and women who run America’s economy. These white collar criminals are non other then members of Americas so called high class society and they go from millionaires to billionaires by prying off of Americas middle class. Is it hard to imagine that some of America’s elite could be comparable of doing such a thing, already being rich and still stealing just to have more? Well what can I say, open your eyes and realize that the people who get the biggest tax cuts, high class Americans, are the ones stealing from the people that pay the most taxes, middle class citizens. But the craziest part of this reality is that, if caught, they hardly pay for their crimes, in fact they are simply given a slap on the hand and released after a couple months in CLUB FED to enjoy life as a very wealthy American. And even after these people are exposed as white collar criminals they are even admired and seen as model citizens of America by the middle class America, who are the ones affected by this type of crime. The old theorists of crime believed that lack of intelligence was a characteristic of a criminal, but now with what was stated above we can conclude that intelligence is the characteristic, not of a criminal, but of a smart criminal a large chance of successes and a less chance of apprehension.

- Cuauhtémoc El Emperador Azteca

A Man that Steals Billions of Dollars and is Still Admired and Accepted by America’s Main Stream

Michael Robert Milken
July 4, 1946 in Encino, California)

Milken is a prominent American financier who almost single-handedly created the present-day market for High-yield or junk bonds during the 1970s. After he was sent to prison on finance-related charges, he became the epitome of Wall Street "greed" during the 1980s, and was nicknamed "The Junk Bond King."

After serving his sentence, Milken launched a
public relations campaign to highlight his role as a great innovator and financier, particularly with regard to popularizing higher-risk alternative investments, while smoothing over his criminal record. He has also devoted much time and money to charity, leading some observers to accuse him of trying to buy back his good name, though his supporters point out that his philanthropy goes back to the 1970s, long before any controversy.

A summa cum laude graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, where he was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Milken received his master's degree in business administration from the
University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School.

Legal charges
In 1989,
Rudy Giuliani, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, charged him under the RICO act with 98 counts of racketeering and fraud, and he was indicted by a federal grand jury.

After a
plea bargain, Milken pled guilty to six lesser securities and reporting violations. He paid a $200 million fine and another $400 million in settlements relating primarily to civil lawsuits. He was banned for life from the securities industry.

Kimba Wood, at Milken's sentencing, told him:
You were willing to commit only crimes that were unlikely to be detected...When a man of your power in the financial world...repeatedly conspires to violate, and violates, securities and tax business in order to achieve more power and wealth for himself...a significant prison term is required.

Wood recommended a 10-year
prison sentence, of which, in her opinion, Milken should have served at least 36 to 40 months. However, Milken served only about 22 months (from March 1991 to January 1993) before being released. Upon his release, it is estimated he still had about $700 million of his personal fortune intact. He has since entered numerous other business ventures.

In 1998, without admitting any guilt, he returned $47 million in fees to settle another SEC lawsuit relating to the 1991 order barring him from the
securities industry, which he allegedly overstepped when he advised MCI/News Corporation in a 1995 deal for which he received $27 million and when he advised Revlon chairman Ronald Perelman on a Revlon/New World Communications deal in 1996, for which he received $15 million. In the same year Time Warner acquired Turner Broadcasting, for which Milken received $50 million in advisory fees. That deal was not brought up in the court.

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