Being charged with a crime can have many implications, both legally and personally. A conviction can lead to penalties that can include a prison sentence or probationary period. In addition, a criminal record can make it difficult to find employment or even purchase a home in the future.
Four men from New Jersey are faced with some of the penalties that a criminal charge can carry. They were recently indicted by a federal jury after allegedly trying to make a fraudulent insurance claim. The charges they specifically face are conspiracy and attempting to destroy a ship. Only two of the men have been arrested at this point.
According to the article, one of the men owned a fishing vessel and he and his crew headed out into the water in 2009. The men then allegedly tried to flood the boat and then called the United States Coast Guard to come rescue them. They were found aboard a life raft after escaping the sinking ship.
The Coast Guard found some discrepancies with the ship's log that made them question the circumstances. The log showed that the men had brought in fish that weight several thousand pounds. However, the boat was found without any fish.
The boat owner sought to collect the insurance on the vessel but was denied by his insurance company. To fight the denial, he filed a lawsuit against the insurance company. His claim stated that the boat sprung a leak and under the conditions of the insurance policy, he should be able to collect on the policy.
As stated above, penalties for criminal charges can be severe. In this particular situation, a conviction could land the men in prison for up to 10 years and also require them to pay $250,000 in fines. Penalties like that could impact a person for the rest of their life.
Source: Thomson Reuters News & Insight online, "New Jersey boat owner and crew charged in sinking plot," Terry Baynes, 15 June 2011