While white collar crime prosecution decreased for a brief period, that fact does not help if you happen to come under the radar for prosecution. Since many defendants in white collar crime cases are successful people who found themselves caught in a mess this one time, they have much to lose from one instance of misjudgment. Penalties include prison sentences but also seizure of assets which can make it difficult for your family to survive should prosecutors successfully pursue charges.
It is possible to successfully defend white collar crimes and proceed with your future. Hiring a good defense lawyer with a proven background is the first step to better assuring your freedom.
Common White Collar Crimes
White collar crime is the catch-all description for charges involving fraud and financial gain. They range from mail fraud and tax evasion to grand larceny. Securities fraud is one example where white collar charges may rise to grand larceny, especially in alleged insider trader transactions.
Other common charges include:
This involves taking money from people to whom you owe a duty. Lawyers who dip into their client trust accounts may face embezzlement charges as well as stock brokers who “borrow” money from their clients’ portfolios. The first element to prove here is duty followed by facts of the fraud.
Credit Card Fraud
Often associated with identity theft (another white collar crime) charges involve efforts to obtain credit cards with another person’s information or use them without authorization. The primary intention in most of these cases is to obtain goods without paying for them. While called “credit card fraud”, it also includes fraudulent use of debit cards.
Any activity that serves to avoid paying taxes can fall under tax evasion. This does not include allowed deductions or expenses but if those are exaggerated or falsified, you may become a defendant in a tax evasion case.
Hiding the criminal or improper source of funds is a profitable criminal scheme. Attracting mainly financial professionals, it is the process of erasing the illegal genesis of profit through a series of transactions. The final step often involves falsifying records which can lead to tax evasion or fraud charges too.
Mail or Wire Fraud
Using mail, telephone calls or email to attempt to secure another person’s money or property falls under mail or wire fraud. If the scheme affects many people and largely targets vulnerable people, potential penalties can be extensive.
Whether it is embezzlement, mail fraud or elaborate credit card schemes, white collar crime always carries the risk of grand larceny charges. The term applies to any theft that is above a certain dollar amount, usually $1,000. Since white collar crime tends never to be small, most accusations fall comfortably within the grand larceny range.
Most defendants face multiple charges when they are accused of white collar crimes. An alleged pyramid scheme, for example, can result in charges for mail fraud and larceny. Embezzlement easily overlaps into securities violations and larceny. That is why many white collar cases end with prison sentences lasting decades even if no one is physically harmed or murdered. Charges are accumulative and frequently, life changing.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation estimates that white collar crime costs Americans $300 billion a year. This leads to aggressive prosecution of these cases that could lead you facing unnecessary charges and harsh sentences.
Penalties include fines, home detention, community service, imprisonment, and property forfeiture. It is not uncommon for federal authorities to liquidate assets like homes, cars, investment portfolios, and other items of value to compensate victims. You may also be required to pay the costs of prosecution including the forfeiture expenses and supervised release. A prison term is a hardship on its own but once served, you essentially return home to owning nothing.
Facing Charges? Hire an Experienced Defense Attorney
The long-term consequences of a successful white collar crime prosecution are too immense to leave these matters to just any attorney. Gabriel L. Grasso has served Las Vegas in representing defendants accused of white collar crime since 2000. After successfully representing high-profile clients in a variety of sensationalized cases, he is ready to apply those skills to your situation.
Contact the office today to schedule a free and confidential case review so you can enjoy better chances of dismissing or reducing charges filed against you.