Other White Collar Crimes
Federal white-collar crime encompasses a wide variety of criminal acts typically committed in a corporate or government setting for the purpose of fraudulently achieving financial gain. The FBI is the principal federal agency that investigates white-collar crimes like money laundering, embezzlement and fraud in the United States, and the agency has devoted a great deal of manpower and resources to bringing down individuals suspected of committing white-collar crimes.
According to the FBI, white-collar crime costs the U.S. an estimated $300 billion annually, which is more than enough incentive for the government to aggressively pursue suspected white-collar criminals. If you or someone you love is facing white-collar crime charges at the federal level, do not hesitate to obtain skilled legal representation. Our defense attorneys at Federal Criminal Defense Lawyers have a great deal of experience representing clients in white-collar crime cases and we can help you defend yourself against all types of federal charges.
What is White-Collar Crime?
The term “white-collar crime” is used to refer to a wide range of nonviolent, financially motivated crimes committed by business or government professionals for the purpose of securing a personal or business advantage or to obtain or avoid losing money or property. What makes white-collar crimes different from other theft crimes is the fact that they are not dependent on the use or threatened use of physical violence or force.
Instead, these crimes are carried out through the use of deceit, concealment or a violation of trust, and the sophisticated nature of these federal offenses makes them particularly difficult for federal law enforcement agencies to detect. Often, the federal government will investigate white-collar crime allegations for months or even years before making an arrest, during which time they will subpoena documents, review bank records, conduct interviews and gather any other evidence related to the alleged criminal activity. They may even get approval from a federal judge to use wiretaps to help them build their case.
Because of this unique approach to white-collar cases, if you are arrested for allegedly committing a white-collar crime or if you receive a target letter from the Department of Justice or the Assistant U.S. Attorney indicating that you are the target of a federal investigation, it is likely that the government has already compiled a great deal of evidence against you. That is why we always recommend consulting a seasoned federal criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible after learning that you are suspected of committing a white-collar crime.
Examples of Federal White-Collar Crimes
You have probably heard about some of the more well-known white-collar crimes like embezzlement, money laundering, bankruptcy fraud and mortgage fraud in the news. These white-collar crimes may be the most widely recognized, but they aren’t the only white-collar crimes that can result in federal charges. There are a number of other criminal acts that can lead to federal white-collar crime charges in the United States, including the following:
• Mail fraud
• Wire fraud
• Bank fraud
• Identity theft
• Insider trading
• Healthcare fraud
• Antitrust violations
• Income tax fraud
• Ponzi schemes
• Fraud against the government
• Securities and commodities fraud
• Insurance fraud
• Corporate fraud
• Credit card fraud
State vs. Federal Offenses
While many white-collar crimes in California result in criminal charges being filed at the state level, crimes that target a government agency or department are generally charged as federal offenses, as are those that take place on federal property or cross state lines or international borders. In fact, the FBI focuses the bulk of its investigative efforts on sophisticated white-collar crime investigations, with an emphasis on federal offenses that have a potential connection to organized crime.
Due to the complex nature of white-collar crimes in general, individuals charged with a crime like money laundering or corporate fraud often end up facing multiple criminal charges. In this case, each alleged offense is charged as a separate crime carrying its own penalties.
Potential Penalties for Federal
Because the very nature of white-collar crime means such offenses almost always cross state lines, prosecution and sentencing for white-collar criminal offenses in the U.S. typically occurs at the federal level. In some cases, a white-collar crime can start out as a state offense and then be moved to federal court after the full scope of the alleged criminal activity is discovered.
Generally speaking, federal crimes carry far more severe penalties upon conviction than state crimes, although the severity of the punishment handed down by the court will depend a great deal on the nature of the alleged crime and the existence of any aggravating factors.
For instance, if you are found guilty of healthcare fraud, a federal crime characterized by the knowing and willful execution, or attempted execution, of a scheme or artifice designed to defraud any federal healthcare benefit program or fraudulently obtain money or property belonging to a federal healthcare benefit program, you could be fined and sentenced to a maximum of 10 years in prison under 18 U.S. Code § 1347. If the alleged violation results in serious bodily injury, the punishment increases to a maximum of 20 years in prison, and if the alleged violation results in death, the punishment increases to a maximum term of life imprisonment.
On the other hand, if you are found guilty of bank fraud, a federal crime characterized by the knowing execution, or attempted execution, of a scheme or artifice designed to defraud a financial institution or fraudulently obtain money, assets, securities or other property belonging to a financial institution, you could be fined as much as $1,000,000 dollars and imprisoned for up to 30 years.
What makes sentencing in federal cases even more complex is the fact that the specific prison term handed down by the court is dictated by the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines. The guidelines are a set of rules that establish a uniform sentencing range that federal judges are required to consult when sentencing individuals convicted of criminal offenses in the federal court system.
The sentencing ranges set forth by the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines are meant to ensure equal punishment for similarly situated defendants. Instead, judges complain that the guidelines are too complex, severe and inflexible.
White-Collar Crime Defense
The consequences of white-collar criminal activity can be devastating for affected individuals, businesses and government agencies, and the FBI is committed to aggressively investigating white-collar crime allegations in the United States. As fraud schemes and other white-collar crimes, like wire fraud, identity theft and extortion, become more and more sophisticated, the FBI has ramped up efforts to track down those responsible for such offenses and bring them to justice.
In doing so, the FBI will often work in conjunction with other federal agencies, such as the IRS, the SEC and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, to investigate white-collar crime, and it sometimes even partners with state and local law enforcement agencies to catch suspected criminals. If you are suspected of committing a white-collar crime affecting the federal government or a government department or agency, you can expect to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. And that is where the defense attorneys at Federal Criminal Defense Lawyers come in.
Federal Criminal Defense Lawyers is a California-based firm with a great deal of experience in the field of federal criminal defense. With our knowledgeable, trial-tested white-collar crime defense attorneys in your corner, advising you, protecting your legal rights and negotiating with the prosecution, you can significantly improve your chances of getting your federal charges dropped or reduced to a lesser offense.
If a plea agreement is not in your best interest and your case proceeds to a criminal trial, we will fight for you in federal court and craft a compelling defense strategy that disputes the prosecution’s version of events. Being accused of committing a white-collar crime is no reason to give up. You have important rights when faced with a federal criminal charge and our defense lawyers at Federal Criminal Defense Lawyers can ensure that those rights are upheld throughout your criminal case.
Consult Our White-Collar Crime Defense Attorneys at Federal Criminal Defense Lawyers
The federal government sees fraud and other white-collar crimes as a substantial threat to the U.S. economy, and because of the inherently deceitful nature of federal white-collar offenses, convicted offenders are punished severely under federal law. If you are found guilty of fraud, money laundering or another white-collar crime that violates one or more federal statutes of the United States, you could be sentenced to decades in federal prison or possibly even life in prison.
Our criminal defense attorneys at Federal Criminal Defense Lawyers have more than 40 years of combined experience defending clients against criminal charges at the state and federal level, and when you hire our firm, we will work towards getting you the best possible result in your case, possibly including a plea agreement, a reduced sentence, an acquittal or a total dismissal of the charges. There is no time to waste in a white-collar crime case, so contact Federal Criminal Defense Lawyers today to schedule a free initial consultation with our defense team.