Understanding White-Collar Crime Charges as Defined by Criminal Defense Lawyers
How common are the charges I’m facing?
White-collar crime requires specialized attorneys that are familiar with protecting the rights of those accused of white-collar crimes. White-collar crime is rarer than street crimes in the United States and often involve large sums of money due to professional status and access to such funds. According to Modern Gentleman magazine, white-collar crime comprises only “3% of reported and prosecuted crimes in the US.” Yet, the magazine goes on to note that “it damages the American economy by $300 billion a year.” In other words, white-collar crime is not as common in the United States as other crimes. It’s the magnitude of the economic losses that tend to attract the attention of federal prosecutors.
What is classified as a white-collar crime?
Not every crime related to finance is a white-collar crime. The point of white-collar criminal defense is specific to white-collar crime, so what is a white-collar crime, and is your case within our purview? It’s important to understand whether your alleged crimes are the type of criminal matters our firm addresses.
Here are some common white-collar legal offenses that our law firm handles:
1. We handle fraud.
Fraud is classified as using misleading information to bring about unearned financial gain. There are several categories of fraud, which are bankruptcy fraud, credit card fraud, financial institution fraud, healthcare fraud, insurance fraud, government fraud, phone and telemarketing fraud, mail fraud, securities fraud, and tax fraud. Crimes like bankruptcy, credit card, and tax fraud involve lying about one’s assets, or claiming a lack of assets, in order to gain access to capital, or avoid paying debts and liens.
Some charges are based on how the fraud is committed, whether it is using the phone and telemarketing, the computer and Internet (cybercrime), the mail, or wiring fraud. Lastly, financial institution, healthcare, insurance, government, and securities fraud involve where it took place and can involve individuals or groups working to defraud entities themselves, or using their access within these organizations to deceive clients.
2. We take money laundering cases.
Money laundering is conducted in a variety of ways and involves various schemes. It could involve hiding large sums of money in offshore accounts to commit tax evasion. It also may involve washing money earned from illicit trades or theft through the accounts of another business and cashing it out that way. Money laundering could entail convincing someone to deposit money in their own account and send it back to you in order to have them take the fall for transferring illicit funds.
3. We have skilled trial lawyers for corporate fraud cases.
Corporate fraud causes the most damage to the American economy and requires top white-collar crime lawyers because it often involves a sophisticated understanding and, unfortunately, misuse of business practices and law to illegally profit. It can be anything from insider trading, which involves using knowledge through social or business markets to manipulate the market. Economic espionage and trade secret theft as well as intellectual property theft involve stealing another company’s unique brand and replicating it.
Corporate fraud would also involve antitrust violations, which involve major, widespread corporate fraud to operate a monopoly on goods and services. Other types of corporate fraud include kickbacks, such as businesses that offer cash to other businesses as an incentive to use their services as opposed to allowing all companies to compete on a fair playing field. Securities fraud could also be considered a type of corporate fraud and includes profiting from the expense of others’ poor investments. Corporate fraud is difficult to detect, but internal investigations and whistleblowers can land high-profile businessmen and women in deep trouble.
4. We will take on counterfeiting cases.
This is the practice of printing fake currency, cards, etc., and using them to pay for goods or services that ultimately defraud the business, or another individual if it makes it back into circulation. An individual committing identity theft and using counterfeit documents is also classified as a type of white-collar crime.
5. We handle accusations of bribery.
Bribery is offering favors, money, power, influence, or deals to another party in exchange for a desired outcome, such as the award of a public office or paying off individuals to not report a crime.
6. We have white-collar lawyers who represent clients accused of Public Corruption.
Public corruption cases involve prosecuting politicians breaking federal laws, the fraudulent use of government appropriates, improper border control arising from compromised government employees, and investigating claims of election fraud. Public corruption can happen in Washington, DC, or anywhere in the United States. Since it involves federal law, again, these cases are made by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The FBI also enforces the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and the FBI’s website says it “deals with bribery of foreign officials… [and] deals with accounting transparency requirements under the Securities Exchange Act.” The Corrupt Practices Act has been investigating corruption since 1977, so being indicted by this subdivision of the FBI will truly necessitate strong general counsel.
My case qualifies as white-collar crime, so what happens next?
Whether your case is classified as criminal or civil litigation, we will handle it as long as it qualifies as a white-collar crime. Our firm is composed of criminal defense lawyers who will want to meet with you as a client and hear the facts straight from you. Our offices are located in Florida and our professional white-collar crime lawyers offer a free case evaluation. We understand that white-collar crime typically involves high-ranking individuals and that the stress and embarrassment of prosecution are particularly difficult to experience.
In no way will we minimize your experience or conflate you with the perpetrator of a desperate street crime. White-collar crime got its name from the fact that those who commit this type of crime wear white shirts, such as the classic white blouse of the business world. When people are high-achievers in finance, it’s easy to misuse one’s power since the stakes are high, and staying on top can result in too much pressure on individuals. People can also get addicted to the high life and struggle to afford it.
Since white-collar crimes fall under the jurisdiction of the federal government, a conviction can result in serious prison time, a lengthy trial, and a fight against several government lawyers. A white-collar lawyer will be qualified enough to review your options, offer recommendations, help you through the legal system, and fight the charges. White-collar crimes only result in 3% of the total crime in the United States, which means that white-collar crimes tend to be prosecuted less frequently. It may be possible to get a lighter sentence for a white-collar crime, exchange prison for fines, or dismiss some charges. No matter the outcome, our firm will support you.