A 60-year-old woman who used to work for Amtrak was convicted of claiming and receiving $500,000 in disability checks for injuries she said she suffered, but really didn't. She was convicted on 29 counts -- all felonies -- relating to insurance fraud, grand theft, tax evasion and perjury.

However, the older woman wasn't in the courtroom to hear it. In fact, she may not have even been in the country when the verdict was read -- and that's because she fled the authorities, who are currently do not know of her whereabouts.

She would have begun a 33-year prison sentence, but instead the 60-year-old has escaped the authorities. She was out on bail for the past two months while the trial was ongoing.

White collar crimes are very serious matters. According to the source article, just insurance fraud cases alone cost American citizens $80 billion every year. Being accused of a white collar crime can ruin a person, and they must vigorously defend -- and find an attorney that will vigorously defend -- their case.

One last thing to consider here is the woman's decision to flee. Obviously, anyone who is accused of a crime should not flee. It should go without saying. The act of fleeing is a crime in and of itself, but it also all but guarantees that the defendant is guilty -- may that be in the court of public opinion or in an actual court. The defendant does this because they assume they fear the consequences of the charges against them.

However, many cases are now settled outside of court, and a plea deal can get a defendant's punishment significantly reduced.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Convicted of insurance fraud, former Amtrak employee flees," Tony Perry, Jan. 17, 2013