Generally, under the criminal justice system, crime is described and distinguished concerning how they are committed. For instance, crimes may describe as white, black or even blue collar crimes. Ostensibly, the white collar crimes, in this regard as put forward by a renowned sociologist scholar Edwin Sutherland, is a type of crime propagated by an individual of high social status or respectable status in society during their occupation. Notably, some of these white collar crimes revolve around fraud and embezzlement, wage theft, being corrupt, insider trading in a company, and bribery. Other notable ones include labor racketeering, forgery, money laundering, running Ponzi schemes, cybercrimes and even identity theft among others that are fundamentally committed to having an easy or illegal financial
A preview of Dr. Bird case, it is evident that he was charged together with other defendants for committing a myriad of offenses. Firstly, Dr, Bird was charged with the count of violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act by conspiring to acquire and control money illegally through a racketeering manner, distributing controlled substances and using falsified medical records, improper prescriptions among others against state law and code of Georgia. Other counts involved in the case included money laundering especially from the proceeds that were acquired from running their criminal activities.
From the above discussion it is worth noting that when prosecuting white collar crimes, the United States law demands that several elements have to be proved before the beginning of the case. Firstly, there must be intent, which is a crucial element. The prosecution or investigative authorities have to determine that indeed there was intent by the accused to be involved in the criminal activities. A look at Dr. Bird case, the initial stage of possessing and distributing a controlled substance, using his employees to prescribe falsely and using preprinted notes to falsify that patients were examined is a clear indication that he had the intent to commit a crime.
Secondly, there is the element of concealment. Basically, it is a situation where one hides the real crimes or violation of laws to avoid arrest. In Dr. Bird case, it is evident he was running an unlawful dispensation scheme. Setting up a clinic, never visiting nor examining the patients but rater used preprinted notes to appear as if patients were examined forms part of the concealment element. Equally, it is evident that the money from his business was being paid in cash which explains why authorities impounded millions of money stacked in the office and home. The money was stashed away to hide illegal activities.
Additionally, there is an element of knowledge, descriptively, this element posits that at the time the defendant or the accused person was committing a particular activity, he/she knew that indeed it is all criminal and prohibited. The notion is that a person did it intentionally. Notably, the US law, Georgia Controlled Substance Act prohibits against illegal use of controlled substance. Dr. Bird and co-defendants thus knew that it was unlawful. A person with an occupation of a doctor is well informed that patients have to be examined and not to use falsified notes and wrong prescription.
Furthermore, there is also an element of reliance. Essentially, reliance is that the victims of the criminal activity had relied on the defendant’s activities of the fraudulent scheme. Patients visiting Dr. Bird’s clinics and consultancy had placed their reliance on his capability thus seeking his services. In the same breath, some of his employees relied on Dr. Bird for direction on running the facilities and the schemes. It is notable that among the counts of charges leveled up against the doctor indicate that in further violation of the law, he directed his employees to issue a prescription and equally use the pre-printed notes. In the same breath, the proceeds were also used to pay operational expenses and further laundering. The victims and the plaintiff relied entirely on Dr. Birds acts that resulted in the offenses committed.
Dr. Bird Case: State vs. George Mack Bird and 3 Others. Dodge County Superior Court