WHAT IS A WHITE COLLAR CRIME?
White collar crimes are non-violent crimes committed in business settings and involve deception, misrepresentation, or dishonesty for financial gain. These cases may be prosecuted in either state or federal court depending on whether a state or federal law is involved.
Whether financial fraud, securities fraud, money laundering or embezzlement was performed by a corporation or individual, the government will put experienced and specially-trained investigators and prosecutors to work. These situations involve complex interactions with the law and require an incredible amount of attention to detail to protect your rights.
Most of the white collar crime prosecutions in state and federal court are felony cases where investigations even before charges are filed, so it’s important to have a white collar crimes lawyer on your case as early as possible.
Punishment For White Collar Crimes
Punishment in state court for white collar crimes is usually determined by the amount of money that is stolen or embezzled. Jail time could range from 180 days to 99 years with fines up to $10,000. Punishment can also include restitution of the stolen funds, forfeiture of any assets obtained with stolen funds, and civil penalties.
In federal court, punishment is generally determined by sentencing guidelines that reflect the amount of money stolen or embezzled; probated sentences are rarely given by federal judges. See examples below.
$2,500 - $30,000
180 days to 2 years and a fine up to $10,000
$30,000 - $150,000
2-10 years and a fine up to $10,000
$150,000 - $300,000
2-20 years and a fine up to $10,000
$300,000 or more
5 to 99 years and a fine up to $10,000
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Examples Of White Collar Crimes
Antitrust Violations – Abusive practices harming trade and commerce such as price fixing, restraints, price discrimination, monopolization.
Computer and Internet Fraud – Using the internet to perpetrate fraud practices by hacking or illegally intercepting electronic transmissions.
Credit Card Fraud – Theft involving a credit or debit card with the purpose being to obtain goods without paying for them or obtain unauthorized funds from an account.
Phone and Telemarketing Fraud – A scheme in which a criminal communicates via telephone to obtain credit card or identity information, lure victims into advanced fee scams, ask victims to pay money in a pyramid scheme, pose as a charity receiving “donations” or other similar activities.
Bankruptcy Fraud – This may involve concealing assets, intentionally filing false or incomplete forms, or submitting multiple forms with false or real information in multiple states.
Medicare/Medicaid Fraud – Filing dishonest health or medical claims in order to make a profit. This can include illegal billing practices, altering medical forms or records, waiving co-pays, intentionally reporting incorrect diagnoses or procedures for profit, accepting or giving kickbacks for member referrals and prescribing additional or unnecessary treatments.
Violations of Environmental Law – Refusing to comply with environmental regulations and attempting to hide noncompliance. Violations include littering, improper waste disposal, illegal use of pesticides in agriculture, burning garbage, smuggling illegal chemicals into the country, destruction of wetlands, oil spills, and releasing certain particulates in amounts surpassing the regulatory caps.
Insurance Fraud – Common types include premium diversion, fee churning, asset diversion, workers’ compensation fraud, and filing false insurance claims.
Mail Fraud – Using mail and wire communication to fraudulently obtain funds from victims for fictitious or fraudulent services or goods. This includes employment fraud, financial fraud, fraud against older Americans, sweepstakes and lottery fraud, telemarketing fraud, etc.
Government Fraud – Intentionally swindling the government by way of bribery, collusion, false or double billing, false certification of the quality of parts or test results, etc.
Tax Evasion – Illegally and intentionally avoiding paying taxes to the government. Either by falsifying or hiding income, profits and gains, deductions, etc.
Financial Fraud – Intentionally falsifying information during financial transactions. This includes predatory lending, Ponzi schemes, scamming the elderly, and securities fraud.
Securities Fraud – Also known as stock fraud, this practice misleads investors to make bad purchases or sales decisions based on false information.
Insider Trading – When individuals with access to non-public, company stock information, take advantage of their post and reveal, or trade stock information.
Bribery – Intentionally offering goods, services, or other forms of compensation to encourage the recipient of such bribes to benefit the interests of the giver in a way that would not happen otherwise.
Kickbacks – A form of bribery in which the bribe taker is “paid” a commission for his services, or as a quid pro quo.
Counterfeiting – Manufacturing inferior goods, and representing and selling them under a branded name.
Public Corruption – Taking advantage of the trust of the public, or abusing power by those in a federal, state, or local government role.
Embezzlement – Taking advantage of one’s trusted position in the company to manage the funds to misappropriate funds for the purpose of theft.
Economic Espionage and Trade Secret Theft – An international form of espionage, or spying, in which governments gain information about organizations in an unethical manner, such as using bribes, trade secrets, blackmail, and surveillance.
CALL TO SPEAK TO A WHITE COLLAR CRIME LAWYER
If you believe you are under investigation for, or may be implicated in white collar criminal activity in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, you need a local white collar crime lawyer with has experience handling complex cases.
Justin Sparks and his team will take the time to thoroughly research, investigate, and evaluate every detail of the charges against you. Talk to the team in a free consultation to start your defense today.