The terms "economic crimes" and "white collar crimes" apply to a number of offenses that involve obtaining money, property or some other benefit using deception or trickery. They cover offenses ranging from fraud to embezzlement to money laundering to forgery to identity theft.
With the growing popularity of both the internet and transactions using a credit card and debit card, economic crimes have become more prevalent. Law enforcement, both state and federal in Florida, has been focused on targeting offenders, and repercussions for any kind of conviction are harsh.
Often, economic crime cases are complicated. Building a defense requires attention to detail and creativity. At Meltzer & Bell, P.A., our attorneys have experience in dealing with complex matters in Broward County courts. We have practiced throughout the courtrooms in South Florida including the 17th Judicial Circuit in Broward County, FL.
Contact a Fort Lauderdale white collar defense lawyer today for an experienced partner available to you 24 hours per day, seven days per week. We represent clients throughout Broward County, including in Fort Lauderdale, Pembroke Pines, Miramar, Coral Springs, Hollywood, Pompano Beach, Plantation, Davie, Sunrise, Weston and Wilton Manors.
Federal law contains multiple offense relating to fraud. Fraud may become a federal matter if the allegations involve crossing state lines (including over the internet), utilizing a federal or federally regulated agency or system or defrauding a federal agency or program, such as Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security or any other program.
Mail fraud and wire fraud are some of the most common federal white collar offenses. Mail fraud, defined in 18 U.S.C. § 1341, means to use the postal service or any other commercial carrier, including FedEx or UPS, in a scheme to defraud or obtain money or property through fraudulent means.
Wire fraud, defined in 18 U.S.C. § 1343, means to use wire, radio, or television communication to defraud. This has been interpreted to include the internet. Therefore, any accusation of fraud involving email or a commercial site like Ebay or Craigslist could be charged as wire fraud.
Other federal charges may include:
Federal charges based in Broward County are heard in a U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Florida, including the federal courthouse in Fort Lauderdale. At Meltzer & Bell, P.A., we are both licensed and experienced to practice in the Southern District.
State law in Florida also contains a variety of offenses, which may be investigated by the Florida Attorney General, the Broward County Sheriff's Office Economic Crimes Unit or other state or local agency. Some of these offenses include:
Criminal Use of Personal Information (Florida Statutes Annotated § 817.568) means to use a person's personal identifying information, including a name, Social Security number, bank account number or driver's license number, to obtain money, property or some other benefit. It is a third degree felony, but can be a second or first degree felony if there are multiple victims or a large amount of money obtained.
Worthless checks is also considered a white collar offense.
If you are convicted of a state white collar offense, the penalty will depend upon the charge:
Broward Sheriff's Office Economic Crimes Unit: This division of the BSO handles investigation of numerous white collar crimes, including identity theft and fraud.
FLPD's Identity Theft Page: This page, maintained by the Fort Lauderdale Police Department, has tips for the public on how to avoid identity theft.
Fraud Section, U.S. Department of Justice: The Fraud Section of the DOJ investigates and prosecutes a wide range of federal fraud offenses.
If you face any type of charge for a white collar offense, your best move is to promptly call a skilled Fort Lauderdale economic crimes defense lawyer. At Meltzer & Bell, P.A., we fight for the rights of clients facing charges of fraud, money laundering, embezzlement, identity theft and more in Broward County courts. Call us today at (954) 745-7457 to schedule a consultation.
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