Instances of white-collar crime take place in New York and throughout the country. Such charges could rise to felony levels and bring forth potential prison sentences, even for people in prominent positions. In Ohio, the state’s Speaker of the House, along with four other figures, faces charges of bribery and money-laundering. The news reports the incident as the largest money-laundering and bribery scheme in Ohio history.

Law enforcement and prosecutors have issued charges related to an alleged pay-to-play deal associated with a bailout of two nuclear power plants. Before the Speaker assumed his leadership role, legislation connected to nuclear power plant bailouts stalled in the Ohio House. After the Speaker took charge, a new plan arrived that subsidized the plants and cut incentives for renewable energy. Residents of Ohio had an extra fee added to their utility bill to help pay for the bailout through the year 2026.

The Speaker of the House was previously under investigation for suspected money laundering charges, but that case was closed. According to media reports, the investigation surrounding the bailout went on for roughly one year. Those involved in the scandal might face penalties like years in prison if convicted because the high-level nature of the crimes adds pressure for long sentences.

A conviction for white-collar charges under criminal law statutes could potentially ruin a career and lead to a prison sentence, so discussing a defense strategy with a criminal defense attorney may be prudent. An attorney may examine the evidence and circumstances surrounding the arrest to see if any of the defendant’s rights were violated. Depending on the case, an attorney might advise a defendant whether to accept a plea bargain deal.