You're watching white collar crime play out in your office, right under the company's nose, and no one else has any idea what's happening.You're not committing the crime yourself. It's a simple financial scheme to skim some money off of the top. One of your co-workers, who you've grown close with over the years, dreamed it up. They're fairly sick of the job, they don't feel respected and they finally decided to take that next step and "get what they deserve," as they put it.
They never asked you to join. You never offered any advice or helped them in any way. They simply confided in you and told you what they were doing. They couldn't help but brag, and they thought you would support them.
So, what do you do now that you have that information? Do you turn the other way and let it happen, knowing that the person is putting themselves in danger if they get caught? Certainly, that's what they expected you to do when they told you about the scheme in the first place. They trusted you.
Or, do you need to report it to the police? You think it's a felony. You're worried that if you do nothing, police will eventually find out anyway and arrest you for your inaction. They'll say you should have stopped the crime. Is this true?
It's not always true in every case, and most states actually do not put any pressure on people to report crimes that they hear about or suspect. They're allowed to do nothing, and they're not in any legal trouble. Simply knowing about the activity without helping is not illegal.
However, Ohio law is very different. This is one of the few states where you do need to tell the police. Failing to report a felony is illegal.
Of course, if you do anything to help, that's also illegal. You don't even have to take an active role. Just hiding the activity or taking steps to cover it up can get you in legal trouble. Once you're involved in this scheme, there are some serious risks to consider.
That does not mean you'll face the same charges as the person running the scheme when they get caught. But don't assume that you can avoid all charges just by going about your business. You have to act in Ohio.
Your defense optionsHave you gotten arrested because police said you knew about a crime and simply did not do enough to notify them and stop it? Make sure you are well aware of your legal defense options. This is a tricky area and you need to know how to protect yourself and your rights.