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Criminal acts involving money or property are generally considered white collar crimes. They are called “white collar” crimes because the offender is usually someone that holds a white collar job, and as such the crime typically involves money or property associated with that position. These crimes are also classified as “paper crimes because the evidence is often based on electronic or paper records.

These types of crimes are most often committed by business people, professionals and public officials, whose position entails the handling, processing of money and/or other critical data. White collar crimes can include embezzlement, bribery, computer hacking, identify theft, various types of fraud and corruption charges.
Usually, white collar crimes are prosecuted at the federal level. Federal Courts are different from State Courts and require a different type of defense. Federal crimes are investigated by big government agencies with virtually unlimited resources and manpower to build their cases. Federal crimes are almost always prosecuted extremely aggressively and usually carry significant mandatory prison sentences. If you have been charged or are under investigation by the federal government, it is imperative that you retain the services of well-versed and experienced federal criminal defense attorney.

Penalties

Restitution” is the most common penalty associated with white collar crimes. Restitution is basically the return of the money or property to the damaged parties. In addition to repayment of any money or property owed, the court usually requires interest, fines or penalty fees to be paid as well. This usually results in very high restitution penalties that create a lifetime of financial hardshipfor the defendants in these cases. Even the mere accusation of a white collar crime can do great harm to your professional reputation and potential employment, regardless of the evidence.

An attorney experienced in defending white collar crimes can make the difference in minimizing the penalties and fines associated with these crimes, and save the accused thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. A skilled attorney can keep the defendant out of jail or prison, and help work out reasonable payment plans that allow for the defendant to pay back the damages over an extended period of time.
Below are some of the many crimes which are considered to be white collar:

  • antitrust violations
  • computer / internet fraud
  • credit card fraud
  • phone / telemarketing fraud
  • bankruptcy fraud
  • healthcare fraud
  • environmental law violations
  • insurance fraud
  • mail fraud
  • government fraud
  • tax evasion
  • financial fraud
  • securities fraud
  • insider trading
  • bribery
  • kickbacks
  • forgery / counterfeiting
  • public corruption
  • money laundering
  • embezzlement
  • economic espionage
  • trade secret theft

Defense

Defense of white collar crimes requires specific techniques depending on the type of charge. The investigation phase generally requires discovery motions to compel prosecutors, employers, banks and other institutions to turn over records that can aide in your defense. Due to the significant time and specialized skills involved, preparing a successful defense requires a team of attorneys working on various aspect of your defense.

Remember it is up to the prosecution to prove the amount of actual loss. In general, prosecutors do not pursue cases that they don't feel they can win in trial. Here again a strong aggressive attorney along with his team of forensic accountants and experts can make all the difference in the world, in the results of your case.  Pre-trial preparation is the key to successful defense of white collar charges. Your defense team needs to have the experience and expertise to determine which records are relevant to your case and thoroughly analyze these records.

 

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